WHAT IS GYARU?
So you stumbled across my blog and came to find this strange word “Gyaru” pop up everywhere. You wonder if it’s a strange new meal you never heard of, or perhaps a crazy experimental dance style. The attempt to pronounce it probably made your tongue go numb. Right? Fear not – if you never heard about gyaru before this page will give you a rough idea of what it is!
So, what on earth does gyaru mean?
Gyaru is a fashion style that originated in Japan, more precisely in Shibuya, a fashionable district in Tokyo. Contrary to the traditional Japanese beauty ideal of pale skin and black hair the signature look of a gyaru is tanned skin, heavy makeup and colorful or bleached hair. During the last 20 years the gyaru style has evolved a lot though. For example, you don’t necessarily need to be tanned to be a gyaru. The fashion counts various sub-styles such as Rokku, Amekaji, Agejo, OraOra, Hime and many more.
You can’t exactly describe how a typical gyaru looks like nowadays. One thing hasn’t changed though: the importance of makeup, hair and lifestyle. If you’re makeup looks gyaru and you have the right spirit you can wear almost anything actually, people will still know you’re a gyaru.
GYARU IS A PASSION
To me personally gyaru is a powerful way to embrace femininity. I wear this style for myself only, and I feel confident and empowered by it. When I wear my gyaru makeup and clothes I don’t care what other people might think about me. I’m a gal, and I am proud and strong.
Gyaru makeup usually consists out of fake top and bottom lashes, strong eyeliner, blush, lip gloss and a typical “nose-stripe”. A nose-stripe is what we call our nose contouring. Many gals over exaggerate the highlight on the back of their nose which then looks like a white stripe drawn vertically down the nose. How strong you want to draw it on depends on your own personal taste and the style you prefer! The same counts for your eye makeup. Some prefer their lower lash line at least 5 mm underneath their natural lashes. We want our eyes to appear BIG! So we do tricks like these to help them appear that way. We also usually wear colored contact lenses called “circle lenses”.
IS THERE MORE TO KNOW?
There’s also a masculine equivalent to gyaru called “gyaru-o”. So people with a preference for masculine fashion can be a part of gyaru too! Fun fact: back in 2011 I also wore gyaru-o! Here’s some nostalgic pictures from that time for reference! Nine years ago I still took most pictures with a digicam, haha!
A term I will use often on this blog as well is the word “gaijin gyaru”. It describes all gyaru outside Japan. The word gaijin usually has a negative connotation in the Japanese language, but we still use it. Other terms that are commonly used outside for gals outside Japan are descriptions like “western gyaru” or an individual country followed by the word gyaru (“German gyaru” for example). Many Japanese gyaru don’t know there’s an international gyaru community, but we try our best to spread the word through Instagram, TikTok blogs and Papillon Magazine!
I hope I got you interested in the fashion! If you want to find out more, make sure to regularly read my blog!
(All pictures in this guide were made by me, except the individual magazine covers. Magazine Sources: Ageha September 2017, Soul Sister April 2012, egg August 2009, Ageha January 2012, egg July 2012)