I feel like it’s been ages since we had a catch up, and with the new year I think it’s time for us to sit down and have a chat over afternoon tea. I’m going to drop in some photos I took from when I went to Biscuiteers in London for afternoon tea, just to set the scene. So grab a cuppa’, a scone from Morrisons (but don’t forget the clotted cream and jam!) and let’s have a catch up.
Christmas started as soon as we stepped out in the streets of Nottingham, head-to-toe in our Santa gear as we headed towards the Christmas market. By “we” I mean myself and QueenE gyarusa/gyaru circle members, and we looked fabulous! We didn’t have to walk for long and within moments we were greeted by wooden cabins with fake snow fluttering in the wind. No one batted an eyelid at our attire; well, it was December after all, so that’s basically Christmas!
Okay, I fucked up, again. I allowed myself to get down in the dumps because my lil’ blog over here wasn’t get enough attention as I wanted it to. It got so bad that I was stressing myself out and just piling lots of things onto my to-do list, and my searches were filled with stuff like ‘how to grow your blog’ and ‘how to get more pageviews’. It was triggered when someone posted in a group “can you please help me grow my blog because I only get 200-300 pageviews a day?”.
People are right – comparison is the thief of joy and it stole all of my happiness right then. Gosh, I was so far away from that! What is wrong with my blog? Is it worth even blogging any more? I know I shouldn’t be moaning because people have different measurements of success, but it really got to me. I was lost focus of what I wanted to do because I was feeling so upset that I wasn’t good enough. Again.
top: stolen from my sister (oops)
rilakkuma: san-x store in shinjuku station
shoes: new look
That’s until I read ‘The One Thing’ by Gary Keller. I’m not really one for self-help books, but after finding it harder and harder to be multi-passionate, I decided to give this book a go. My mind was blown. My goals were back in focus and my dream future was becoming clearer.
After this I realised that I wasn’t ever going to become a full-time blogger. There were so many signs that I dismissed earlier that suddenly became crystal clear. Firstly, I never really had the time for blog events and attending blogger meet-ups weren’t really my thing unless I knew someone there. Secondly, I was secretly thankful that my inbox wasn’t flooded with sponsored emails. I just couldn’t write a sponsored/gifted post with the same enthusiasm as I would have if it was just a normal outfit post unless I truly believed in them. And thirdly, I couldn’t be bothered to learn about SEO. At the end of the day, I write posts because I wanted to, not to boost my rating or whatever.
What I do know, however, is that I do love blogging but only because it provides me a creative outlook to write down my thoughts. The more I tried to pressure myself to promote my blog and get it in front of people, the more stressed out I was. And that reflected badly on my writing. I even had to take a break from this blog (and this is my first post after said break) because I found myself crying to sleep as I lost sense of purpose. But I don’t really need a reasoning for blogging – doing it because I love it is a good enough reason.
I’m going to take it easy so that I can focus more my ‘One Thing’, which I know to be my art. It’s something that I’ve done my whole life and it’s been in the dark for too long. I want it to grow. I want to be known as a hand-letterer and be damn good at it.
So, I’m happy with just being a hobbyist blogger.
P.S. Are you a hobbyist blogger or do you do it full-time? Or are you somewhat in-between?
I’ve always wanted to be no.1; when I first joined gyaru I wanted to be the best gaijin gyaru in the U.K., and a few years later it changed to wanting to be the best agejo in the world. My aims were pretty high so I bought as many MA*RS items that my greedy hands could get a hold of, and for a time I believed that I was the best and that I was happy. I tried hard – perhaps too hard – and I called it the golden age of my gyaru life.
That golden age lasted a year, maybe two, before I started my downward spiral. Agejo began to slip away from my fingers and I felt my identity lose its grip. I didn’t know who I was anymore and I began to doubt myself. I loved agejo, so why wasn’t it making me happy anymore? I worked so hard to be the best but it just took the joy out of gyaru and made it into a competition. In the end I was left disappointed and dissatisfied.
Hey cuties! Long time no wishlist post? It’s been such a long time since I’ve done a wishlist post – my last one was in Christmas 2016 – and since then my spending habits have spiralled almost out of control. Organising my own wedding didn’t help my budget, but now I’m suffering from the aftermath of it.
So instead of doing lots of impulse shopping I’ve decided to do a cute little jfashion wishlist to help me figure out what I really, really want.
Aah, the gaijin gyaru community. Where do I start? Well, it was one of the first things I discovered when I started out doing gyaru and I’ve never looked back. Maybe it’s the sunshine (as Summer always calls to us gyaru) or the fact that I went to a gyaru meet recently – I can’t seem to get enough of gyaru and the online and local community! Here are the reasons why I love the jfashion comm…
What I Love About the Gaijin Gyaru + Jfashion Community
You’ll be surrounded by boss bitches
Wearing a jfashion style is not easy, especially if you’re from a place where pretty much everyone wears the same thing, so every person within the community has had to deal with some sh*t. This means that quite a lot of us has developed pretty thick skin, and no one can bring you down when you’re surrounded by your fellow gals.
They share your love for all things cute
Not everyone in the gaijin gyaru/jfashion community loves cute things, but it’s nice to be able to not feel ashamed for having Rilakkuma hanging off a chain on my bag or having a super pink phone case.
People love to go crazy with their style
Even if they’re just wearing jeans a hoodie, gyaru always find a way to pull it off in such a way that it looks fashionable. Wearing it’s by topping it up with over-the-top accessories and then some more, there isn’t a limit to style! ‘Boring’ is not a word in their vocabulary (even though sometimes we fall victim to feeling so), and I live for it.
You get to make friends from all over the world
If it wasn’t for gyaru I wouldn’t have been able to step out of my comfort zone and meet people who soon became the best friends I could ask for, let alone meeting people in a completely different country! Even meeting my jfashion friends from London causes butterflies in my tummy, and I’m just so overjoyed to know them.
Bigger community = more access to jfashion stores
Thank goodness our community is so big – in terms of jfashion as a whole – that we have UK stores like Dreamy Bows, Artbox, Tofu Cute, Roxie Sweetheart, and lots more! If it wasn’t for the fact that there’s a large ‘fanbase’ for all things cute, I don’t think we’d ever have access to things that came all the way over from Japan. And I love it!
They push me to try new things
I never thought something like this would happen but I’ve recently done my first vlog!!!!!! I tried it out when I was a young teenager, but I ditched the idea because I thought I wasn’t good enough. However the other day a newbie gaijin gyaru, Annie, encouraged me to try it again, and I did!
What are the things you love about the gaijin gyaru/jfashion community? And even to those that aren’t gyaru/into jfashion etc – what do you love about your alternative fashion community?
I know what you’re thinking – Is it even possible to feel lonely doing/being gyaru? Gyaru is, after all, a fashion, so how can you feel lonely by just wearing different clothes?
For me, gyaru is more than that. It’s what made me fall in love with Japan in general and accept my ‘kawaii’ side unapologetically. I don’t think I’d ever have the courage to use Rilakumma stationery at work if it wasn’t for gyaru (even though gyaru technically doesn’t have anything to do with it). Gyaru gives such a confidence boost, and the makeup is my war paint.
Sandals: New Look
Hat: Haven’t a clue
But it’s one thing dressing up and taking pictures in your gyaru gear vs actually going out and hanging out with other gyaru. To be surrounded by others to talk about things we’ve seen lately (like Sakurina’s new brand Riina Couture) or to help each other out in improving our style. Gyaru has always been a mainly internet-based style, and we tend to just communicate over FB/Twitter/Insta with the occasional gyaru meet here and there. I’ve always dreamed of the day that I could just hop over to a fellow gyaru’s house just for a casual hangout in our PJs and watching cheesy chic flicks rather than travel (what seems like) thousands of miles to see them.
So yes, being gyaru it is quite lonely.
If there was an easy way to feel less lonely then I’d be all over it. But in the meantime I’d say that the way to combat this loneliness is to just keep on being present, whether that’s on the internet or in the real world. Post those selfies, those outfit photos, and be effortlessly you in your style. Hell, start a blog! Get gyaru on the map but don’t feel disheartened if it doesn’t work out… As long as you’re having fun and not forcing yourself to be gyaru for gyaru’s sake, than that’s all that matters, right?
Do you ever feel lonely being/doing gyaru (or any other alternative fashions)?
Lizzie Bee xx