Gyaru – Meet the independent style in Japan

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Gyaru (ギャル) is a Japanese fashion style that originated from the jeans brand called “Gurls“. This word originated from the English “girl” and the slang “gals” used to refer to beautiful girls. In this article we will talk a little about this fashion style that has been divided into several others.

It all started when the company Gurls launched a slogan saying: “I cannot live without men”. This became popular among teenagers and generated a new fashion style that began to divide. In the 1990s and 2000s it was difficult to walk on the street and not find a group of gals. Nowadays this style of fashion has declined. The gals nowadays can be found on the streets of Shibuya and Harajuku.

About the style of the gals

The girls who follow this fashion (gals – gyaru), usually mix colors, prints, sparkles and all kinds of fashion, bringing their own and very bold style to the oriental pattern. They usually do tanning, change their hair entirely, and wear thousands of colorful and exotic accessories. Gyaru is also characterized by having very bleached or dyed hair (mainly shades of dark brown to blond), highly decorated nails and dramatic makeup.

Gyaru - Meet the independent style in Japan

The makeup consists of dark eyeliner and false eyelashes used in ways designed to make the eyes look bigger. The pieces of clothing for gals differ depending on which gyaru style the girl chooses. They rolled up their skirts to make them shorter, had their own slang and frequented specific places. They have a custom of posing with tongues when taking pictures. 

There are many famous models in this area, among them the most popular are: Tsubasa Masuwaka, Kumiko Funayama, (Kumicky), Rie Matsuoka (Okarie), Hikari Shiina (Pikarin), Satomi Yakuwa (Satomin), Sayoko Ozaki, Rina Sakurai and Blogger Jenny Franz (It Girl J).

Things went downhill when the high school girl stereotype came up, gals started to be associated with inappropriate things. There were even hentais and erotic works associating the gals. Over time the idea of independent and rebellious gyaru became a cuter style.

Gyaru - Meet the independent style in Japan

Different types of gyaru

This fashion style is divided into several categories that involve fashion and gender choices. Are they:

  • Gyaru-kei (ギャル系): Name given to gals who adopt the standard style of a gyaru.
  • Bibinba (ビビンバ): It involves the use of large quantities of gold, jewelry and accessories.
  • Ganguro (ガングロギャル): We were in the 90s, girls with artificial tan, with brown or bleached hair.
  • Banba (バンバ): They use a lot of brightness, more extreme types of false eyelashes and colored contact lenses, they use less makeup.
  • Hime gyaru or hime kei: One of the most expensive styles, they dress like western princesses, wear pink dresses with many lace, bows, pearls, crowns and decorate the house.
  • Gyaruo (ギャル男): It is the term used for men who follow this fashion.
  • Kogyaru: Usually a high school student (高校生 kōkōsei).
  • JK gyaru: recent term for Kogyaru, or gyaru still in school uniforms.
  • Onee Gyaru (Onee: older), with a more mature and sophisticated style.
  • B-gals: Aimed at the world of Hip Hop.
  • HaadyGyaru: Inspired by the 80s, with lots of colors and sparkles.
  • Kigurumi: Fantasy of anime or animes.
  • Ane gyaru: A more rebellious style, like motorcycle gangs.
  • Kogal: subgenre of gyaru, also known as a young man, or baby gyaru (based on school uniforms.).
  • Gyaru mama (ギャルママ): Mothers with children who follow this lifestyle.
Gyaru - Meet the independent style in Japan

Gyaru words and slang

Gyaru have their own language called gyarugo (ギャル語). As time goes by, these words and slang words end up coming out or coming into use, nowadays it is not as common to use as many words as in the past. Gyaru usually use the suffix poyo (ぽよ) at the end of some words and slang. We have separated some for you to understand better:

  • ぽよ (poyo) – Suffix indicating “looks beautiful”, used at the end of many gyaru slang;
  • あげぽよ (agepoyo) – Slang but popular which means super excited, energetic;
  • さげぽよ (sagepoyo) – sad, disappointed;
  • らぶぽよ (rabupoyo) – Feeling of love, passionate;
  • やばぽよ (yabapoyo) – bad, bad, dangerous, risky;
  • とりま (torima) – Anyway;
  • ぱちこく (pachikoku) – tell a lie;
  • ぱギャル (pagal) – It is not totally gal, half gyaru;
  • うけぴい (ukepii) – Funny;
  • あとんす (atonsu) – thanks;

Even though the style is divided into thousands and does not have as much strength as in the past, gyaru has a lot of influence in Japan and in the world. It is easy to notice characters in anime and drama that carry this style. Do you remember any? Have you ever found a gyaru? What do you think of this style? We appreciate comments and shares.

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