What is Gyaru?

For starters gyaru is the biggest subculture among the japanese youth. The main focusgroup of this style are you japanese girls, aging 15 to 25. It’s all about cute and sexy clothes, lots of make-up, and big hair that is properly styled. There are also a select few guys that participate in the stylem which is then called Gyaru-o.
                gyaru as a style started in the 90’s with the styles kogal and ganguro. The mean idea of the style was to look like the calafornian beach girls with their bleached blonde hair and tanned skin, while wearing lots of makeup that made the eyes appear to be bigger. Ganguro girls were mostly found hanging around on the streets because a lot of the time these girls were highschool dropouts. Kogals on the other hand remained in school and were therefore usually seen in their school uniform.Ganguros had a bad reputation in the japanese society, people often said they behaved inappropriatly for a girl, and that they smelled bad. But the kogals were also frowned upon by the japanese society because they had the tendancy to date older guys for money. This was called enjo kozai, which litteraly means compensated dating.
                in the late 90’s the
gyaru culture slowely faded to the background because the bad words the media spread about them.  In the new millenium the gyaru culture made a comeback by using the word yamanba, which was given to them by the media as an insult. The term yamanba, which litteraly mean mountain hag, has resulted in the style manba. The manba’s started dressing according to the name they were given, mountain hags. The style was an even more extreme extraction from the ganguro style. Their tan got darker, their hair got bigger, brighter and more colourfull and they used a lot of hawaiian accesoires. One of the most extreme aspects of this style was the make-up. Extreme droopy eyes, high arched eyebrows, lots of really colourfull eyeshadow and pale lips. Manbas often used white out markers as a part of their daily make-up routine.

During the time that the manba style slowely lost its populairity, other less extreme gyaru styles rose to the occasion. Those girls, using the previous gyaru styles as an example, started dressing up in sexy clothes while wearing exesive make-up for big eyes. And bleached hair with lots and lots of volume was  stil in style. In that time a lot of substyles developed into the styles we know nowadays. Some styles have stayed in the past, and some of the styles have developed themselfs into the popular gyaru styles that we now know in the west. Even though the styles from back then still have a lot of similairities with the styles from now, there are some big differences to be found. 
for example back then the gyarus prefered to buy a lot of cheap items, whereas now the focus lies on expensive brand items and cosmetics that are trending. Another big difference is the skin town, the gyarus started of with really dark tanned skin, but the skintone has graduatly become lighter and lighter to the point that some of the gyarus of these days prefer to have no tan at all. And now, instead of having mostly sexy gyaru styles, a big gap has been created between cute, cool and sexy styles. All of these developements have made the gyaru style to what it is today!

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