Sunday, November 20, 2011

Gyaru Girls

What Is Gyaru?

Gyaru is a Japanese transliteration of the English word “gal”. The name originated from a 1970s brand of jeans called “Gals”, with the advertising slogan: “I can’t live without men”, and was applied to fashion/peer-conscious girls in their teens and early twenties. The term gradually drifted to apply to a younger group, whose seeming lack of interest in work or marriage gained the word a “childish” image.
Japanese style: Gyaru is a huge uproar of girly-glam style, breaking all the rules of "what's pretty" and dwelling in a party of man-made beauty. Hop in a baby pink bubble and explore the world of Gyaru makeup and fashion.

Gyaru is almost as popular as our dear GothLoli, originating around the late 70's/early 80's from a brand of jeans called "Gal" which evolved into a variety of Gyarus. It all started with the Yamanba, a highly contrasted look that rebelled against Japanese society's ideal of beauty. It was severely criticized and seen as a mockery of everyone from black people to California girls.

Literally meaning "mountain hag," the Yamanba look consisted of deeply tanned skin, extreme white eye shadow and a vast array of unnatural coloured hair and bright clothing. Then came the Ganguros and the Manbas, which later died out and now we are circled by Hime-gyaru, Ko-gyaru and Onee-gyaru. Following them, the most popular gyaru style today is Gyaru Kei, the modern type of gyaru. Some popular gyaru kei icon is Tsubasa Masuwaka, Kumicky, Kanako Kawabata, etc


The 90's are a turning point in Japanese musical universe, which will naturally mark fashion. This is the birth of J-pop! It all started with the producer Tetsuya Komuro, principal composer and leading figure in the Okinawa Actors School. In 1992, the "school" gave birth to a band : Namie Amuro & the super monkeys.
Namie, then being 18, recorded her first solo single, thanks to Komuro who, convinced by her potential, had her take vocal classes and changed the image of the young idol ... At that time, Namie had a dark complexion, discolored blond hair, mini skirt and plat-form shoes !

 Her theatrical performance, especially her voice and her image, seduce the young Japanese teenage girls running low on originality who literally throw themselves on this fabulous marketing product ...
They are called by Namie Amuro herself, the Ko-gals, Ko come from Komuro and gyaru is the japanese pronounciation of the english word girl, so Ko-gals means the girls of Komuro.

Most of Kogals are above 16, but at the beginning, they were sometimes younger like 12 or 13. Unlike Lolita, Kogals were not well-accepted by the Japanese system for several reasons:

The first is that it was the first teenager's "revolution" in Japan. These girls nonconformist as it's possible to be, leaving the conventional Japanese beauty, were classified as "rebels" or "disruptive elements", especially in schools ...

Secondly, it is in adolescence that girls gain some freedom, as their parents are losing their authority and the system is allowing them to have some purchasing power. In addition to their pocket money, which becomes important, there are many odd jobs that can make teenage girls and some don't hesitate to skip school in order to earn money and it is not necessarily in the most legal way.

The whole life of a Kogal revolves around her appearance and her ability to stay cute. Nothing is more important than the look of the others. They want to shock common people and be admired by their peers. The goal is to be as popular as possible, to be known and recognized in the street including by being taken in picture for magazines and to be elected look of the month. What comes closest to Kogal fashion in Europe is Lolita in its European sense, these young girls who think they are sexy at 15 years-old, who try to be more attractive by looking older with makeup, vulgar clothes, and seek to attract more and more boys always older.

Who wears the Gyaru look today

Despite how it's still slightly looked down upon (like any other alternative style), it's thriving amongst girls in their teens to their early twenties. Many Japanese singers adopt the look, especially Namie Amuro and Ayumi Hamasaki, who are both considered to give the Gyaru style its true glory. Gyaru makeup can be gently incorporated into one's own style, or taken to a rather excitingly grotesque extreme.



  1. gyaru is sooo cute! but i'm so young to try it >.<!!!

  2. As someone whose known a fair bit about gyaru for years. Some of the information on here is quite inaccurate. Ko-gyaru comes from the shortened word of school. Kokosei which becomes ko, so essentially it means school gal. Also the type of gyaru your referring to was mainly popular in the 90s and 2000s. The gals in the 70s were normal high school girls who rebelled a lot with escorting/prostitution and going out to night clubs doing illegal stuff etc.

    Anyway the moral of the story is don't copy and paste from Wikipedia if your going to write an article. Next time just past a link...