If you think gyaru is simply centered around young, teenage girls wearing those baggy knee warmers and having their skin tanned every week, then you are mistaken. Turns out, the Gyaru aesthetic is more complex than you think and this one aesthetic that we are going to talk about is one of its examples: introducing the Onee Gyaru.
What is Onee Gyaru
Onee Gyaru is a subculture of the Gyaru aesthetic, but unlike the other gyaru styles that focus more on going against standards, the onee gyaru is a little different. The Onee Gyaru, just like what the name suggests (since calling someone "Onee" often suggests that they are an older sister), is a gyaru aesthetic that centers around older women - say college girls that graduated high school but still want to incorporate the gyaru aesthetic into their lifestyles.
The Onee Gyaru is simply a gyaru aesthetic done by young women. While the onee gyaru is considered to be the mature style of gyaru, the aesthetic itself is not to be confused with a sexier style of gyaru that it’s almost unrecognizable. Generally targeted and used by its older gyaru audience, commonly the ones who are gyarus even back when they were teens and now presently at the ages of twenty (20) and above (say around 30), it does not necessarily mean that it pertains to them having to expose more skin than usual. For many, deciding for a mature look might mean going for a complete 180 change in lifestyle, it doesn’t necessarily need to be like that.
How do you define sexy fashion?
The definition of sexy can come in different definitions depending on what experience and culture in which it is highly influenced from. Sexy in the context of onee gyaru doesn’t necessarily pertain to a bolder sense of style (though there are instances that it can be, but not to an extent that it’s almost ungyaru-like) or even a very sensual appeal. While the appeal for the onee gyaru is supposed to be different (in this case, mature), the onee gyaru appeal lies on a more conservative note compared to what we may think it is.
Conservative in what sense really? We are talking about skin-tight leggings, skin-tight stockings, commonly the fashion styles that you see in anime that aren't particularly revealing yet it still gives off a sexual appeal to the ones who are seeing them. The clothing items often used in this aesthetic are often the ones that emphasize the high points of the enthusiast's body, say your body shape for example.
And to highlight these specific parts, they mostly wear clothing that embeds femininity and maturity. Basically put, it is the more stylish type of gyaru that embodies the feminine appeal the most.
Onee Gyaru Fashion
The Onee Gyaru fashion is still alive to say as most of the fashion items that the onee gyaru base their aesthetics on are mostly found in fast fashion businesses. And since most of the fashion pieces of the onee gyaru are found in most shopping centers, it is of no surprise that a lot of people still follow this trend.
But what are the types of clothes that the onee gyaru were specifically?
To be honest, there is no particular specificity when it comes to onee gyaru fashion. Again, highlighting the aspects of sophistication and class, I guess anybody can imagine what sophisticated and classy fashion looks like.
Just like makeup (which will be discussed further below), fashion is no different. If we're going to talk about colors in this fashion aesthetics, most of the color palettes that are used here are centered on more brown hues. But that's not just the case. Just wearing some brown hues is probably the basic way to dress maturely but anybody can just style anything according to their specific style, say cute or bold, any color palettes that suit just fine that anybody can think of what an adult woman would look like sits just right.
But if you're not exactly satisfied with that kind of explanation here, I will give you some examples taken from an article by Fandom:
- Leopard prints are very common
- The users often focus their attention on brand names
- They still do deco nails but it's more subtle as compared to the other gyaru styles.
Aside from what Fandom wrote on their article, the Onee Gyarus are also known to make use of stilettos, high boots, or any shoes that accentuate their feminine vibe. They also make use of light jewelry with subtle features. All in all, the onee gyaru enthusiasts just make use of modern fashion and incorporate gyaru elements with it.
Onee Gyaru Makeup
Photo by the secrets of doll on Tumblr
The makeup style of the onee gyaru emphasizes on sophistication while still reminiscent of the gyaru aesthetic. Retaining the highlights of the gyaru makeup such as the wider eye illusion, and the sparkly eye makeup, the onee gyaru has tweaked some of the general gyaru makeup’s defining characteristics. Unlike the gyaru which emphasizes more on the cutesy, often confused as a rebellious state of makeup, the onee gyaru style of makeup is rather composed than that of rebellious as again, it tries to highlight sophistication and femininity.
There's not much difference to the makeup style of the onee gyaru to that of our general understanding of the gyaru makeup. Probably the only difference lies in the fact that the makeup of the Onee Gyaru feels a bit more mature as that generally the look that they are going for in the first place. You could say that the natural makeup is highly influenced by that of the western makeup style but with a gyaru twist (or vice versa), or more like the elements of the gyaru makeup are still there despite trying to look different. After all, the goal of the makeup is to make the face elegant while still regaining the gyaru aesthetic.
Another thing to point out when it comes to the trendiness of the makeup style of the onee gyaru is how modern the look feels. I say modern simply because of the evolution of the gyaru aesthetic, slowly accepting the norms of its society, just like the one where they decided to put the fake tans behind. I say modern because this is a drastic change in the community itself. As fake tans were considered to be one of the most identifying features of the gyaru, this change is very significant. And just like that, the skin of the modern gyaru, just like onee gyaru, is less tanned as compared to it's past trends, if not completely disregarding the fake tans altogether.
But simply because the gyarus took a modern approach to how they look, doesn't mean they completely disregarded the other basic elements of the gyaru such as their eye makeup.
For the Onee Gyaru, while still retaining the wide eye Illusion by placing doll-like lashes on their lash line, there are some subtle changes to the eye makeup.
They still make use of glitters on their eye makeup. The difference mostly lies in the colors of the shadows that they use. Since the Onee Gyaru is defined as sophisticated and mature, they often go for "mature" shadows such as light brown shadows or just the brown hues in general. To add to their eye makeup, they also do a lot of cat eye makeup styles that emphasize their eyeliner through the use of black eyeliner. While they don't overdo its application, the cat-eye style of placing the eyeliner is still visible and recognizable.
The makeup style for the brows is also still retained, having a straight eyebrow look that is famous within the Japanese makeup communities.
Onee Gyaru Hairstyles
Just like the rest of the gyaru subcultures, the Onee Gyarus have their distinguishing hairstyles. There are just a few differences when compared to the rest of the styles that are easily recognizable in the culture itself. Though there are a lot of similarities that exist such as having colored hair, say almond-like or blonde-hair colors which are easily part of the gyaru style, the differences lie in how they are styled particularly on how large or distinguishable the style is. Take, for example, we mentioned a short profile regarding the Hime-Gyaru on this blog and mentioned that their hairstyle is one of their identifying features: their large, beehive-styled hair. For the onee gyaru, they go for simple hairstyles this time, sporting soft heated waves enough for them to style their hair properly, without any need for any exaggeration. Again, hinting that they are mature enough to disregard the overly fashionable statement of the gyaru, the Onee Gyaru has turned into a change under this style.
Today, the Onee Gyaru is still one of the most popular gyaru styles that still exist and many enthusiasts are raving about. Wanting to keep the fashion style alive and well, influencers such as leasoneegyarulife even has an international magazine that centers on all things gyaru, whether onee or not. This just proves to show how the enthusiasts love this gyaru substyle and is still growing despite the visible decline of gyaru enthusiasts.
So, what do you think? Would you dare to try the mature Onee Gyaru style? Do you think it's interesting? Tell us all your thoughts and maybe start a conversation on the comments section below ^_^)