So we heard you’re interested in Gyaru, well you went to the right place. While not immensely popularly known by many, the gyaru culture is proven to be an interesting look at the street fashion culture of Tokyo and attracts the attention of many international fans that are already interested in the culture of Tokyo.
And now you are here because you are interested in either 1) being a gyaru yourself or 2) just interested in how gyaru works. Either way, you got your answers right here.
Here is our 10-step guide to becoming a gyaru yourself.
Choose Your Gyaru Style
While gyaru is a fashion subculture on its own, it also has a lot of different substyles that carry its basic elements. This practically means that there are a lot of gyaru substyles that you can choose from: regardless of whether you are a student or not, there is a specific gyaru aesthetic waiting for you to discover.
Choosing a particular aesthetic will also help you the trouble of stressing out the differences between gyaru as once you get into one of the substyles, you will then, later on, grasp what the other substyles are.
So, how will you choose your aesthetic?
Well, are you a student that just wants to try out gyaru? Then, you are more than welcome to try the Kogyaru substyle, which means “high school gal”. And just like what the name suggests, it is the high school girl gyaru archetype that anyone can go for.
If you’re more into the fearless gyaru styles, then you can go for the Hime Gyaru substyle which focuses more on princess-like features in its fashion. I say fearless because the Hime Gyaru is very conspicuous and will always capture the eyes of many when they walk the streets because of their cute frills, dresses, and wigs.
Basically put, you have a lot of choices to choose from if you want to try to go for the gyaru aesthetic. To keep yourself from expending a huge lump of money for going for the aesthetic, you might need to research for a while before you can confidently go ahead and try gyaru. We also have blogs that relate to the gyaru aesthetics listed as:
Bleach/Color Your Hair
A! Prerogative! Bleaching or coloring your hair to suit the preferred colors of the community such as almond and blonde (actually, these two are like the most common colors). So far, I haven’t really seen someone sporting their natural hair color when they’re part of the gyaru community. If you’re a Kogyaru, wearing almond-colored hair (whether bleached or colored) is the most optimal choice to keep the color low-key. Although, if you wish to go straight to blonde color, then that’s all up to you!
Get Yourself Some Tan
During the reigning days of the gyaru culture, tanning yourself is part of its practices. This must be followed because of the rebellious upbringing of the aesthetic before (as explained in this article). The gyaru during its emergency had a societal purpose and that is to show the need to change societal norms of beauty by using some elements of the western beauty (whether this symbolizes the liberty that the West signifies, we can't tell for sure).
Though you don’t need this anymore as the gyaru fashion style is slowly integrating into societal norms and slowly accepting that it is okay to have normal, pale skin (in Japan) as this what feels like the practical thing to do now. So, trying out to get some tan just to experience how gyarus do it wouldn’t be so bad.
Get Some Ironing Tools
Now you will be needing these tools in your must-haves. Just in case you don’t have any form of heating tools such as a hair curler (and/or hair straightener for that matter) then you need to have one of these, if not both, right now! The gyaru emphasizes their unique style and fashion sense, and that differently includes on how they style their hair. In fact, it is in the hairstyle of the wearer that one can recognize the gyaru substyle the wearer is identifying as (I am talking about you, Hime Gyarus!). Simply put, it is important to put much attention to how you style your hair as the gyarus give time and effort to styling theirs to feel identified as part of the community as it is slowly progressing to different trends as time continues to pass by for the gyarus.
Shop 'til You Drop!
As you might have already known by now (or not), members of the gyaru community are mostly people from a higher class in society, making use of their money to flaunt their riches to make something different and life-changing for the voice of the less. So, it would make sense if being a gyaru would cost a ton (heck, having fake tans every week is costly as it is, and this is a common practice for some gyarus even up to this date!). Wanting to be a part of the community is a dedication in itself and should not be taken so ever so lightly. Especially for specific substyles that have very unique fashion styles, the effort in expending that much money for fashion is huge and if you're not dedicated enough, you just might not enjoy the gyaru experience for yourself.
But that aside, the gyarus spend a real deal of money to suit the substyle that they identify with. There are even businesses that cater to some specific gyaru substyles which mean to show how the gyaru is willing to bring out their wallets for the things that they wear.
So, if you are serious about wanting to be a gyaru, better get those wallets ready as it’s about to hurt, like, a lot!
Get Your Nails Done
Another common characteristic of the gyaru community is their mutual love for having their nails done. The gyaru nails typically are long and heavily decorated, however, other substyles don’t conform to one gyaru nail routine. But depending on the substyle, the gyaru still loves to do their nails regardless of which substyle they fall into. Colored nails that come in different styles, nails that have been accessorized, or just nails that you just want to have in general - just as long as you have it done, you're done with your first step! The importance of the nails doing your nails for the aesthetic puts attention to your status - as long, decorated nails are often associated with people with no need to work after all, and it's no wonder why the gyaru loves having their nails done.
The gyaru nails come in different sizes, too, depending on how big or small the user wants it to be. It’s more efficient to have your nails done by a professional but if you want to enjoy the process of being a gyaru girl, then go ahead and explore and see it for yourself! After all, doing your nails is the same thing wherever you go.
Practice the Gyaru Style of Makeup
The gyaru makeup emphasizes its ability to look cute while incorporating some traits from the western style makeup, after all, the gyaru is highly influenced by the western styles of fashion. So, how does this apply exactly?
The emphasis of the makeup lies in the eyes and sometimes, one the highlight for the bridge of the nose. For the eyes, the eyes must be exaggerated to keep a bigger eye effect by using fake lashes and good use of eyeliner. The purpose of using these specific styles is to follow and/or recreate the western eye look and makeup look to fit into the Asian facial features. It may not look perfectly fit, but basically, that's how you're supposed to do the gyaru makeup.
They also still make use of soft blushes as after all, the gyaru makeup is still a product of Japanese subculture makeup style that fits the Japanese face.
Don’t Miss Out on the Accessories
Depending on the substyle that you wish to get into, the choices of accessories to fit the style are different. Just like if you choose to get into the Kogyarus style, it is acceptable to use accessories befitting of your student aesthetic. But most of the Kogyaru sport the knee warmers as part of their fashion accessories. Of course, they also make use of other accessories to their fits such as rings and bracelets (and/or accessories in other forms as well). Basically said, accessories also play a part in the gyaru identity.
In some styles even, the accessories help categorize the identity that the gyaru wearer is a part of, just like the Hime Gyaru, where their wearing of conspicuous hair accessories such as a giant hair ribbon on their heads is a prime example of the accessories as an identifying factor of their identity as Hime Gyaru (although they can also be identified through the dresses that they wear most of the time, it is the ribbon on their heads that sets them apart from another subculture, Lolita). So, don’t underestimate the accessories! You will be needing them as part of your identity as a gyaru.
Socialize! It is important to socialize in the gyaru community as they love to engage with other people who enjoy the fashion aesthetic, too! Especially now, that the gyaru community is slowly declining in number, it is through socializing events that the presence of the gyaru is still being recognized despite them continuously decreasing in number due to the changing modern times in Tokyo where fast fashion is slowly taking over the city.
The gyaru community has specific events for them to meet, and they mostly meet up in places where there are a lot of people, just like in the streets of Shibuya, places like in Hachiko Statue. There, you should be able to meet people who have the same gyaru interests as you! As the gyaru also have their circles, it is important which circle you should join as there will be a lot of them!
Learn the Culture behind the Gyaru!
I know you are excited to try out the gyaru subculture, but it is also important to make sure that you learn the culture behind the gyaru! We have a blog regarding the gyaru, but it is also safe for you to read the Wikipedia article for it as well for added research.
Either way, you get the best of both worlds and you can have a fair understanding of what gyaru is and how it’s doing in modern times!
I hope you enjoyed our list! So, what do you think? Do you think you have what it takes to be a gyaru? Tell us your thoughts and maybe you can tell us a thing or two about your experience on the comments section below!