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Gyaru

14:59, 06/04/2021
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BACKGROUND

Gyaru is the umbrella term for to lớn refer to lớn a fashion subculture in nhật bản which has lasted for two decades. The subculture itself is divided inlớn many subcategories: kogyaru, hime gyaru, ganguro, banba, yamanbố. However, the core style orientation for identification remains stable: hair dyed in light color like brown or blond, heavy make-up, sexy cloting, và a wild attitude. Some scholars consider the birth of gyaru as a result of Japan’s unstable economic condition after the Japanese Bubble period in which stoông xã market price was heavily inflated. But gyaru subculture is also a reflection of social class interactions through fashion styles.

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HISTORY


Kogyaru girls make stylishtic adjustments lớn their own uniforms as a khung of rebellion


“The gyaru totally came out of nowhere” – Yasumasa Yonehara, one of the first lớn discover the fashion subculture gyaru, in an interview with W. David Marx.

The beginning of the 1990s marked the first wave sầu of gyaru subculture, kogyaru, when people started noticing an emergence of a large number of school girls from rich private schools with “brown hair, short schoolgirl skirts, & slightly tanned skin clutching European luxury bags and wearing Burberry scarves.” In the context of Japan’s financial crisis after inflation, kogyarus mostly consists of girls from the upper class who had accumulated wealth and were able to lớn afford highly-priced clothings. In other words, Kogyaru luxurious everyday style can be explained by their desire to display a status of style leader through their ability lớn buy fancy Western fashion items. 

These kogyarus were actually previously known as girlfriends of chiima or involved in chiima’s circles. Chiima, also called “teamers,” are Japanese youthfrom top private schools. These teamers mainly come from privileged backgrounds, but squander their money in throwing parties nights after nights. As Japan started tightening its law enforcement on night club scene, chiima ended up as only a short-lived movement. Kogyarus, on the other h&, started expanding their influence.

For first generation of gyaru that is kogyaru, the school unikhung was a piece of personal clothing rather than something mandatory. Kogyaru would wear their uniforms everywhere after school. Adjusting knee-length skirts khổng lồ mini-skirt, wearing “loose socks”, having a light tung, và dying their blachồng hair are ways through which they rebelled against dominant norms on what a high school girl should look like. These acts of upgrading their unikhung outfits are also how kogyaru embrace their youth.


Ganguro girls giới thiệu certain comtháng stylishtic choices: dyed hair, darker chảy, and White make-up.


Kogyaru reached its first peak in mid-1990s when it received extensive sầu coverage from mass truyền thông media which generated a moral panic by linking sexualized versions of uniforms that these girls wore lớn a deviance from the national character of morality. Also, Japanese’s shūkanshi, a kind of weekly provocative tabloid, heavily exploited this sexualized image of high school girls as the new sexual objects for older men men, establishing a stereotype and associating Kogyarus with teenage prostitution (known as ‘enjo kosai‘ in Japan) (Kinsella 2013). However, despite getting caught up in the stereotype, kogyarus did not make up the majority of teenage prostitution. It was in the midst of misconception of kogyaru & kogyarus themselves’ receiving harassments due lớn the prior issue that gyaru as a subculture took on their first transformation: ganguro.

The birth of ganguro as a prominent sub-genre of gyaru subculture was in the intersection between the significant decrease of the original wealthy kogyaru and the rise of lower-class gyaru participants. In this era, which was after mid-1990s, the subculture’s shift to lớn a “cheaper” stylishtic direction happened. Ganguro girls’s dominant style involves heavy tanning in dark shades, bright or White face make-up, and hair dye in colorful color lượt thích gray, green… They also adopt speech considered vulgar & inappropriate for young women by society. The aforementioned stereotype và the way it drew older men to kogyaru contributed to lớn the formation of ganguro as a defense mechanism of these subculturers to lớn shut men out of their circle and instead focus on gaining favor from fellow participants of the subculture.

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Kogyaru and ganguro are two major peaks of the subculture as a whole in terms of popularity and media exposure. Nevertheless, new subcategories of gyaru also arise through time while still keeping the stylishtic core of the subculture. 

Gyaru subculture is dominated by females, especially young girls. However, there are also male participants, who are called gyaru-o. Gyaru-o started appearing afterwards as they are mainly boys who are interested in gyaru girls và want to lớn hang out with them. Gyaru-o’s lifestyles are also aligned with those of gyaru girls: deep tans, dyed hair, and frequent tiệc ngọt sessions.


Ganguro girls with even much more extreme make-up và hair color


At the root of the gyaru subculture is the comtháng theme of resistance through fashion innovations & adjustments. In other words, the birth of the subculture is a reaction against the dominant Japanese culture up to the 1990s. Kogyaru sub-genre, the first generation of gyaru, is a way for high school students and young adults female to lớn resist against dominant culture’s ideology on igiảm giá physical appearance of women, as well as strict school rules & standards. Afterwards, ganguro, still aligned with the resistance against dominant standards, seemed to focus more on resisting against the foreign influence. You can only witness authentic gyarus in Japanese neighborhoods. “This was a concrete step in Japan finding pride in its own domestic, non-designer fashion — overcoming the constant dull pain of an inferiority complex towards style originators overseas.” Furthermore, ganguro, by creating their own sense of identity instead of striving lớn resemble upper-class population, also frees itself from the class-based consumer culture in Japan.

Social class in gyaru subculture


Ganguro girls featured in a Japanese magazine (2009)


The class-based nature of gyaru subculture can be seen through the variety of its subcategories because it allows participants from different social classes to lớn join. At the very first size of gyaru, kogyaru, the subculture mostly comprises of upper class high school girls and some middle-class girls. This is because this subcategory centers around materialism. Specifically, for one lớn become a kogyaru at that time, one has lớn first be able khổng lồ afford expensive sầu pieces of clothing. So firstly, kogyaru is only known practiced aao ước affluent kids. However, as time goes, gyaru’s heavy exposure to lớn the public through media channels because of the moral panics it has caused allows for the subculture’s dissemination within female working class in nhật bản. Shibuya 109, considered the hub of the gyaru subculture, also helps much in this process as it represents the commercialization of gyaru. Shibuya 109 is a shopping complex that has many gyaru clothing & accessories shops. In some senses, Shibuya 109 serves as a style guide for gyaru newbies. With gyarus more frequently flocking to the location, the siêu thị owners started producing individual clothing pieces, usually flashy & sexy, for gyarus khổng lồ set and create their own gyaru outfit. No more confined lớn only high school uniforms, gyaru subcultures gradually becomes more accessible. Prices of clothings from these shops also vary greatly, so it caters and attracts not only gyarus from upper class but also those from lower class.

Reproduction


Ganguro girls putting on makeup.


One thing that helps sustains the longevity of gyaru subculture is the transition of the original gyarus inkhổng lồ well-respected siêu thị clerks at gyaru shops. Young gyarus look up lớn them as big sisters who give sầu out style recommendations. In other words, they were crucial figures in the shifts and changes in styles of younger gyaru subculturers. Through this practice, gyaru maintain their control over gyaru fashion trends, especially in the context of the subculture’s commercialization.

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Another factor that also helps maintain the existence of this fashion subculture is its own transformative nature. Gyaru as a subculture has various sub-genres: from kogyaru, hime gyaru (an exaggerative and costly feminine style of kogyaru with excessive sầu use of pink/pastel colors, laces and bows), to lớn more extreme forms lượt thích ganguro, yamancha (even darker rã & more dramatic make-up than ganguro). Gyaru subculture never dies down, but rather moves lớn different stages signified by different styles & make-up. Some also attribute these transformations of the subculture as a way for it lớn stay deviant, since too many followers of a sub-genre will make it become normalized. As a result, going through radical changes of styles & class compositions is necessary for the participants to stay “different”.


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