Sunday, 8 June 2014

What's This? "Neogal"?

from kotaku
I've been hearing about this new sub style of gal recently and after seeing this article by Kotaku I decided to investigate on Tumblr. It took me a while to realise that I was actually scrolling through "Neogal" and not this new Japanese-hipster trend that I thought it was.

Because that's exactly what "Neogal" looked like; Japanese hipster style. Now, I love all types of gal and would never speak ill of any of it but this… This is different. There wasn't any hint of gal left in it, it just looks like they slapped on some upper lashes and circle lens and hey presto, it's "gal".

Here are a few pictures to explain what I mean:

(all the rest of the photos are from Tumblr)

If you knew about gal you can see why I'm slightly annoyed and a bit confused. It's definitely pretty trendy but where was the dramatic hair? Dramatic makeup? Sure they have a bit of a cool-dude attitude but for me it just didn't really look gal. The thing I loved about gal was the pure dramatic-ness of it, but here the makeup is just so natural. Gal isn't being about natural at all; it's about being over the top and rebellious.

I'm only really talking about the hair and makeup because I feel that clothes aren't as important, and it's the previous two that make you look gal. Due to the lack of heavy makeup and stylised hair I find that it actually places an impact on the clothes and look slightly boring overall. For me it's either dramatic hair + makeup + boring clothes or dramatic hair + makeup + over-the-top clothes. It just doesn't work when the hair and makeup is "natural"!

I find that there is a point where you can get away with a more toned-down version of hair and makeup, but even then it means you'll have to put some effort into it and I wouldn't really do it for days out but rather for days at work or at university. I wrote a little guide ages ago on how to do makeup and hair for such events which you can read here: "How To Be A Gyaru & A Student". When I do a more toned-down version I always find myself feeling that it's not as gal as it would be if I did dramatic makeup, but that's just my opinion. I'll probably do a separate post on my thoughts on "natural" gal.

Final Thoughts

As it's dubbed a "Japan's next big trend" by kotaku there's little we can do to make people realise that this isn't gal. So what can we do? Well, these "neogals" are using our name so why not take it back and work it?! Gal it up! Make it gal! I can't let a sub style that's supposedly gal exist when it doesn't look gal.

Okay I'll stop writing now because I can sense my rebellious nature peeking out and wanting to stomp to the nearest shopping centre to buy dozens of clothes (with the money I don't have).

What are your thoughts about "Neogal"? Please comment below as I would love to hear your views!

Lizzie Bee xx / facebook / tumblr / twitter / bloglovin'


  1. I like the idea of taking back neogal as ours but there's some points I think a lot of people overlooked.

    So far it's a discussion among international gyaru. What about Japanese gyaru, are they on this train? Do they have the idea of reclamation as well? If not, how do reach them? If the Japanese gyaru don't put in the effort, it'll fall flat.

    I don't know if I'm articulating it well. But like for example: Say our form of neogal becomes big in the western community. But we forget to include or show it to Japanese gyaru. When Japanese media looks at neogal, they'll still see Alisa and co. So that's what they'll keep showing on tv, in mags, etc. And the effort kinda goes down the drain on our part since we didn't actually change the scene so much over there as we did in the western community.

    I just thought it's something to look at and consider. There's always been a feeling of separation between the two because of language and geographical barriers. One community is doing one thing while the other is doing theirs. I think it's something that should be done but you've got to have a strategy for it or nothing will change.

  2. You've actually raised a really good point! I guess that what I've said above is only to make me feel better about neogal and ignore the gyaru-less-ness of it. To me it doesn't really matter whether or not the Japanese gals recognise it, but I'm not too sure what the rest of the gaijin gyaru community would think.

  3. I think the gal with the blue ball cap on has pretty good make. Her cap obviously covers her hair, but the make is good. The others, not so much. To me, the clothing looks like they just grabbed a bunch of random things and threw them together. For me, clothing is a huge part of my gal look. I tend to do a more natural make, but I never leave out dramatic lashes and I almost always have lenses, but I'm completely anal-retentive about my coords. Detail, detail, detail. But I feel like I have to do that to maintain my gal-ness because I do have a more natural make, which is mainly because I work and in order to be gal at work, I have to use a more 'toned down' gal make.

  4. I get you on feeling better neogal. When I think about it I feel pessimistic lol. I don't mind it seeing but when I hear 'oh it's the new gyaru', I do feel like ugh please stop lol.

  5. I do like neo-gal, but yeah not so hot on it being called gal or the new biggest thing in gal :s
    I;m a fan of Alisa, but some of these neo-gal outfits imo just look lazy and basic :s it's all starting to look a bit same-ish too which it think really defeats the point of gal
    if this exists as a subculture or along side the old gyaru style then ok but i would hate to think of this as the direction gyaru is heading...

  6. This looks pretty much like nu-goth/pastel goth/soft grunge.

  7. I honestly think this neogal trend is confusing, mostly a matter of wrongly named! It's not that the style was "watered down" to this harajuku/hipster mix, but there werent any gyaru elements to begin with. The makeup might resemble a little bit with gyaru style, but i think it's just common makeup techniques that flatter Asian eyes (cl and lashes). To me

  8. I totally agree! They should've at least put an effort in their clothes if their makeup is natural.

    In my opinion I don't think that this trend is going to last long. Besides, as long as the gal-feel is strong in the Western community, then it doesn't matter :D

  9. ^^^^ THIS SO MUCH. This is exactly what I was trying to explain in my post. It's so annoying!

  10. Aah yes that's Alisa Ueno, the "leader" of this neogal trend. I find that even though she does look cute there's nothing striking about her makeup that is making her stand out as a gal; she seems to just be using "normal" Asian makeup techniques.

    A but at least you have kept that balance so that your dramatic clothes makes up for your natural makeup.

  11. This trend has been going on for a while now, but even with all the media exposure it's pretty obvious it's just a minority who dresses like this. And compared to the "old" gyaru standards it's just as dramatic and over the top as before, except in a different way.

    Why should we gal it up when it's obviously gal already? I feel like you're trying to rebel against the evolution of gal, because maybe you can't really connect to it and you stick to the standards you've set up for yourself as gyaru too much. To me, neogals seems like shibuharakei and harajuku fashion merged together, but just because it leans more towards harajuku, doesn't make it any less gal.

  12. Hmm I'm not much a gal expert, nor am I exercising the trend but I think Neogal just seems a bit like..a scramble? Like a bit of mainstream "hipster" some pastelgoth mixed with more old school hip hop hair styles and the clothes doesn't seem to it's a mash of shiny bright colors and photoshoped animals on galaxy print. It's over the top yes, but not that great to my eyes :/

  13. Personally, I love Neogal. @ w @ But I do get what you're saying .. I still do the dramatic makeup when I dress in neogal because I don't feel gal without it, but over the past year or so, gyaru makeup has really toned down .. Its a shame really because what I loved about gal was the over the top-ness. ; w ; I hope the heavy makeup makes a come back sometime in the next year because I feel that heavy makeup is one of the things gyaru was all about.

  14. Agree 1000000% with this!! I don't see neogal as gyaru at all just as girls :\ I'm personally not crazy about the style but I've never been into this 'hipster' 'tumblr gal' style XD

  15. I really like this style, much more than the original gyaru. Make up seems a lot more realistic and the clothes are a little less girly. I think I might try this out one day, but I don't know if I'll be able to look as good as these girls!

  16. I mostly agree with you, I've been intressted in gyaru since more than just a few years, but all the talk about what/who is real gyaru and what not is just so off putting. Why can people just enjoy what their doing and accept others doing what they enjoy too :/


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