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Gyaru: The Japanese Bimbo?

An interesting fashion phenomenon that I've stumbled upon recently is called "Gyaru". This is a Japanese sub-culture that is similar to our western idea of "scene girls", both of which peaked in the early 2000's and have since died down significantly. I'm certainly not an expert on gyaru, or Japanese culture, but I really wanted to learn more about this style, and see how it applies to bimbo fashion.


What are Gyaru?


"Gyaru" is a Japanese term that translates to "gal" and can only be described as over-the-top, colourful and hyperfeminine. These girls love their hair big, their nails long, their makeup heavy, and their skin tanned... sound familiar? Gyaru are not exactly the same as bimbos though. There seems to be less of a focus on sexuality, and moreso just be about having fun with fashion. While their style is girly, extreme, and sometimes slutty, gyaru style focuses less on big tits, fake butts and lip fillers, and more on fitting as many things as possible on their excessively long nails.


The gyaru movement allowed Japanese women to rebel against traditional Asian beauty standards, such as pale skin, straight dark hair, and conservative fashion choices. This drew public attention to them, especially by the older generation who tended to regard gyaru girls as childish or sluts.


There are many different subcategories within gyaru culture, including kogyaru, himegyaru, ganguro, manba, banba, and more. We'll talk a little bit about some of these subcategories below.




Kogyaru


These gyaru gals are commonly found in short skirts, socks, and designer accessories. Their school-girl aesthetic makes their style more preppy than other styles of gyaru.

Himegyaru:


Himegyaru, which means "princess gal" is similar to kawaii and lolita styles, making use of lots of bows, lace, and cute patterns. These gyaru are often seen with more natural hair colours than other gyaru styles.

Banba:


This is considered "barbie style" gyaru, with blonde hair/highlights, tans, more toned-down gyaru makeup, and doll-style contact lenses.

Ganguro:


Ganguro is a Japanese term that translates to "black-face" . This subcategory is all about the contrast between dark skin, white makeup and blonde hair.


"Black-Face" ?! Isn't that racist?


Ummmmm yeah. Does this mean gyaru are racist? No. I wouldn't even say that darkening your skin is racist (because then tanning would be racist), but using face-paint or other means to try to appear a different race, or making people of colour into a costume is dehumanizing and dismissive to the struggles that people who actually have dark skin face. So while the intention isn't harmful, the result is.


Gyaru Meets Bimbo


Obviously not all gyaru are bimbos, and not all bimbos are gyaru, but there are certainly some similarities between the two styles. Not only do they both have over-the-top fashion and makeup choices, but they are ridiculed by society (specifically the older generations) for their appearance. Other similar trends will be listed below: