Gyaru Lifestyle: Are they going too far?

For those of you who are not familiar with the different subcultures of Japanese style, here is the Wikipedia article for Gyaru. The style originated in the 1980’s, among high school and college girls, and thus the girls who dedicate themselves to it are also called gals. The style can be summarized and defined with tanned skin, curly blonde or light brown hair, overdone makeup, circle lenses, precisely coordinated outfits, brand-name fashion, and cute accessories. Common activities include shopping in Shibuya, taking purikura photos, parapara dancing, and karaoke. They are known for their tightly-knit friend circles with other gyaru.

Lately, the style is becoming popular amongst girls in the US and Europe:

Websites and online communities such as Everyday Gyaru and Ricoche advocate the lifestyle, and are centered around posting pictures of themselves and getting “constructive criticism” from other members on how to improve their look. At times, these comments become vicious – things such as weight and facial structure are negatively remarked upon. This harsh criticism is especially found on Gyaru Secrets. The girls there are ten times worse to each other than the ones in the movie Mean Girls! Due to this, the gyaru have earned a bad reputation; as cute as these girls are, their lifestyle ultimately revolves around the superficial. Some gals even get involved with prostitution or payed dates with older men, just to afford their shopping habits. =/ I give them credit for being so devoted to their subculture, but sometimes it goes too far!

In other news, I’ve been on a Garbage kick this week! I can easily say that they’re on my list of Top 10 favorite bands. : ) Shirley Manson’s voice is just so easy on my ears. Unlike other vocalists, whose voices I get sick of after listening to two albums straight, I can listen to this woman sing all day. She’s so pretty, too!

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6 responses to “Gyaru Lifestyle: Are they going too far?

  1. Wow, they are going way too far. :\ Prostitution, really?

    And as for Garbage, they’re fucking awesome! :)

  2. yeah, a lot of gyaru go way too far with it. but i still like the style.

    and garbage is def one of my all-time fav bands! shirley manson is amazing~~~

  3. Haha, the photograph you used as an example of US/european gyaru is of me and my friends.

    About the idea of compensated dating and prostitution amongst gyaru: it almost never occurred. When gyaru was starting out, the media picked up on the idea that some girls who identified as Gyaru did do compensated dating and prostitution to fund their spending habits and it became a national scare but it wasn’t like all Gyaru did this, and as gyaru became more mainstream, it lost its seedy reputation.

    Gyaru secrets is horrible but most other western japanese-fashion websites have -secrets or bitchy websites to go along with them too. Most of us ignore them.

    • You are all very lovely. : ) And thank you for clearing that up for me! I had read several articles prior to writing this post that made it seem that compensated dating and prostitution were still current and common in Japan. I’ll watch out for my sources next time. :P

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