I will go through the various types of Gyaru styles out there. starting with what i think is the weirdest...(grossest)
"I keep seeing what looks like an ordinary girl, but they're all really dirty." the managing editor of a community newspaper told the Japanese Culture magazine, Shukan Taishu. " I dont know whether it's because they haven't gone home, or simply haven't had a wash. One of them was sitting on the side of the road with her panties in full view. There was an awful brown stain on them. She just sat there, staring into thin air like a zombie."
Having blown watever money they had on clubbing, karaoke, stuffed animals, and print-club stickers, some girls decided simply to skip out on going home to mom and dad. They took to living on the city streets with their fellow stinky friends, dismissing basic hygiene as a total drag. As time and resources were spent in the relentless pursuit of pleasure, the girls became dropouts, not just from school but also from the rest of society to boot. What the hell were they thinking?
These fallen angels dubbed themselves Ogals. The O deprived from the Japanese caracter for "unclean," but adding an O to a Japanese word can also give it a double meaning, making it honorific or cute. Ogals believed they were being both dirty and adorable...even if few outside of their permanent cloud of funk ever wanted to give them a hug.
still the Ogals commitment to Being Out All the Time, no matter wat, acted as a kind of natural fertilizer for a new tribe of party girls dedicated to social circles and long Shibuya nights.
(the term reclaimed from the yamanba epithet of the Gonguro) shared heir black-faced sisters' fondness for tanned skin and bright, sexy clothes, but there were key differences. "the Manba like sandals better than platform boots, which can be dangerous and hard to walk in," observed an editor for the brilliantly named magazine Ego System. "Also, they don't get their skin tanned artificially so much, since there is a risk of skin cancer. Instead, they only wear dark-colored skin foundation." Manba favored Hair Extensions dyed bright pink and were crazy about supercute character-goods accessories like Hello Kitty slippers, purses in the shape of cartoon characters' faces and key chains that resembled portable toy shops. They'd accesorize their faces with stickers of stars, rainbows, and smiley faces.
If in some ways Manba were Yamanba turned down a few notches, they cranked the volume to ear-splitting levels in their obsession with Para Para dancing to trance and Euro-beat music.
Named after the onomatopoeic Japanese word for something falling in a wavy pattern, Para Para resembles the sort of mass synchronized hand-wringing that the takenokozoku used to do in the streets of Harajuku in the 80s. but being a Para Para master requires a higher learning curve. Each song spun in the clubs has specific individual moves numbering in the hundreds that must be perfectly executed. Learning the correct hand motions requires careful study of the instructional DVDs (bestsellers at hte HMV and Tower Records stores in Shibuya) and much practice on the part of the participants. One para para fanatic who typically practiced with friends for three to four hours in the street before hitting the clubs explained the appeal to the Shibuya Keizai, a newspaper that tracks economic news and trends in the area: "The group choreography of Para Para makes us feel more unified as friends."
In 2003 the guys who hovered around the clubs, feeling left out, began to mimitate the Manba style (lipsticked, tanned, multicolored hair extensions, decals on their faces, accessorized within an inch of their lives) and earned the label Center Guy (a play on the japanese name for Shibuya's Center Street - Center Gai)
One such Center guy confessed to the Japan Times in 2004, "Life for men is a real drag. We dont get to put on makeup or dress up fancy. If i could be born again, I'd want to be a girl, and work in a dress shop. Before when i dressed up in ordinary gear, nobody spoke to me. But when I walk down the street dressed up this way, it's easy to make friends. it's fun. you know, the only way to get Girls' attention is to imitate them."
The reborn egg magazine, previously a must-buy item only for the girls, now began publishing Men's Egg which was full of hair and makeup tips for the discriminating Center Guy. So perfect did the sexes now mirror each other that it was sometimes hard to twll which egg magazine you were flipping through.
Both sexes competed for the same clothes, expecially goods made by Alba Rosa and expecially Jackest imprinted with the Alba Rosa logo on the back. perhaps noticing these new customers were more likely to be squatting in the streets then walking down the runways while wearing its clothes, The Alba Rosa brand was less than enthusiastic about the attention. (it's said that the Alba Rosa store would actually fire staff members caught selling clothes to Manba or Center guys.) the brand finally gave up and closed shop in 2005, promising to return once it had "cleaned up" its image.
But just as guys were catching up with the Manba, the girls began to cut them out of the picture with an innovation that has fostered countless schoolgirl subcultures ever since. On internet message boards accessible only via cell phones, behind closed doors, and in underage dance clubs, the Gals began to bad together in Ladies-only packs known as Gal circles, or Galsa. Rooted in school clubs that sprang up in the 80s, Galsa masterminded girls' nights out at the dance clubs, drinking parties (if they were of age), sightseeing trips, and even such traditional affairs as Cherry-blossom viewing. Boys were allowed to tage along, but membership in the circles themselves was forbidden.
According to the Shibuya Keizai newspaper, 90 percent of teenage girls who came to Shibuya belonged to a Gal Circle and were also using Center Street as a base of operations. It speculated that there were "hundreds of circles just in the Center Street alone. Most are made up of Twenty to thirty members each." The primary meeting spots for circle members were the lotteria hamburger joint on Center Street and the famous Hachiko Dog statue at Shibuya Station, the peak time was summer vacation, and the primary activity was "standing out at a club even for getting a boyfriend." Girls swarmed into the area's cafes, fast-food joints (such as First Kitchen, known in Gal slang as "Fakkin"), video arcades, and sidewalks to set up camp. Street-fashion magazines took photos of more girls on Center Street, confirming the scene and drawing still more to the booming area.
Angeleek, the biggest Gal circle of all, and still active today, was originally created by and for Manba in 2001. Manba's roots in Gonguro (note their shared love of tanned skin), as well as the imperfect, lungfishlike evolutionary progress of one style mutating into another, are evident in the circle's official rules laid out for prospective members:
1.You must go to a tanning salon four times a week.
2.You must be devilish, strong, and Gon [For gonguro] gal.
3.You must be totally black, so black you cannot be seen in a night club.
4.You must love only Angeleek.
5.You must be Polite
6.You must not have a smelly pussy.
7.You must be easygoing and make a fun atmosphere.
8.You must be a person who has sake in her right hand.
9.You must be able to dance Para Para.
10.You must look like a Gorilla.
11.We also welcome people with bodies like Pro Wrestlers.
From the advent of the Gal circle, The evolution of the Japanese Schoolgirl fashion subculture less resembles a straight line than a many-branched tree as the Manba movement spins out new groups, including Delicer (pronounced "Deli-cur," drived from psychedelic), Trippy neohippies into scarfing semilegal magic mushrooms; Celeba, Brand obsessed girls who seek to imitate American Celebrities (think Cameron Diaz); coconba, who only collect clothes from the cocolulu label; Romanba, who have a taste for romantic lolita fashion; and Banba, a tribe of gals you sought to mimic the neon pink and violet look of America's favorite doll, Barbie. (could also be banba like biker)
~Taken from "Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno" by Patrick Macias and Izumi Evers copyright 2007 by jaPRESS. ALL rights reserved.