My Gyaru Journey; The Beginning, Middle, and Now

I have always asked, “What’s your Gyaru story?” whenever I meet someone new and to the people I interview but I never really got the chance to tell you my journey. I might have mentioned it here and there in the past, but it’s something that I never really delved into. After asking you what you wanted to read from me over on my Instagram stories, my Gyaru journey was one of them so let’s take a trip down memory lane to see how it all began…

Beginner gaijin gyaru Lizzie Bee

It started, technically, back in 2009-2010…

And, to be honest, it actually started when I first fell in love with anime.

I loved drawing manga characters with cute hairstyles, but the thing I loved most about anime were the clothes. I also fell in love with Hello Kitty and soon found a LiveJournal blog dedicated to this Japanese fashion called Lolita.

I loved Lolita and was interested for about a month or so, but I knew that deep down in my heart it wasn’t for me, and I longed to look for something else to give me that sense of belonging. So it was back to the drawing board! One day I was just looking on Google and stumbled upon a picture that made my eyes light up. It was just so pink, and the girl there looked like a modern day princess with her big eyes and her elegant cut. It was kind of like Lolita, but wasn’t, and I thought… Could this be the thing? I soon learned that it was called ‘Hime Gyaru’, which translated to ‘Princess Gal’, and so I began my path to discovering more about Hime Gyaru…

Discovering this fashion called ‘Gyaru’

Soon I discovered that Hime Gyaru was just one piece of a bigger puzzle that was Gyaru. I became obsessed because the people there were wearing somewhat normal clothes yet there was something about them that stood out. I hadn’t really worn makeup much at that time (I only really wore lips and eyeliner) but I fell in love with their big eyes and dramatic makeup.

I have to say that I was a big n00b back then. I was stubborn, and believed I could be Gyaru without the makeup and did it with minimal effort. So it wasn’t a surprise when I started getting lots of comments saying “This isn’t Gyaru!” because boy it was a mess. Luckily someone (and I can’t remember who) took the time to draw over my picture and point out all of the things I needed to do to belong to this subculture, and I began to pick up speed when it came to wearing makeup. I was actually starting to wear things like false lashes, which were hard to come by back then (I got my first pair in Poundland).

The embarrassing beginning of my gyaru journey
Ew this is so embarrassing…
My Gyaru Story by hellolizziebee

Somewhat in-between

In mid 2011 that I began to feel like the gal (another word for Gyaru) I wanted to be, and had even joined a Gyaru circle called ‘Delight’ and attended my first Gyaru meet in Birmingham where a few of the girls there did my Gyaru makeup. It was a major turning point in my Gyaru journey, and I felt so happy! It was in this time that I really began to improve and bought my first set of Japanese false lashes from the brand Diamond Lash (which I still buy to this very day!) In late 2011 I bought my first pair of circle lens and gosh I couldn’t have felt more gal. The years quickly went by and I found my footing in Agejo Gyaru in late 2013-2014. I had ditched wearing circle lenses then because they were scratching my eyes and began to feel comfortable with my natural eye colour. In late 2014 I went onto the Hyper Japan fashion show for the very first time and flaunted my Agejo Gyaru Style!

Attending my very first UK gyaru meet!
My first pair of circle lenses
Hyper Japan Winter Fashion Show, 2014
Hyper Japan Fashion Show in 2015 (I think?)

Onwards and upwards!

In 2015 I went to my first international Gyaru meet in Germany, and it was amazing. Since then I’ve been to at least one international meet every year (although I think I missed out one because I was on holiday at that time) and have even organised my own one in Birmingham together with my Gyarusa QueenE!

My style, however, has somewhat toned down. But do I regret toning down? Absolutely not! My Gyaru journey has been long but I’m so comfortable in my skin now and feel like I have finally discovered my own Gyaru style. I wear the clothes that makes me happy and there’s nothing more important than that.

And it’s all thanks to realising where I didn’t belong, and finding where I did.

Lizzie xx

P.S. My friend Kieli also talked about her gyaru beginnings over here so go and give her some love!

What do you think?

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  • Elodie Joriot
    September 22, 2019

    I discovered the gal in 2004 but I was also interested by Lolita ! I also came into the gal when I discovered himegyaru so our beginnings are almost the same! Amazing!! You were so cute on the first pic and I will never tire of your Agejo looks! ❤️❤️❤️

    • hellolizziebee
      September 22, 2019

      It’s so amazing how similar our stories are! Tehe well I’m not really agejo anymore as I prefer himekaji, but I try to do it from time to time!

  • Jess
    September 22, 2019

    This is super interesting! I’d never heard of Gyaru before reading your blog so thanks for helping me learn! xxx
    Jess |

    • hellolizziebee
      September 22, 2019

      Awh thank you so much! It’s one of the best things to have happened to me haha, I love it so much! xxx

  • Flor
    September 23, 2019

    I loved reading about your journey!! I remember that back when I was into Lolita fashion I looked up to Gyaru as well, but I felt too lazy to do the make up, hair, etc. Still am to these days a very basic girl, make-up wise ? But I absolutely adore your style and how far you’ve come!

    Flor |

    • hellolizziebee
      October 6, 2019

      Awh thank you so much Flor! Haha yes gyaru makeup is very extreme, although I find that Lolita is very complicated in terms of clothes!

  • Katrina
    September 26, 2019

    This was such an interesting read! I’ve never known much about the Gyaru subculture so it was interesting to learn x

  • Rebecca
    September 26, 2019

    Still don’t really know what it means but I can certainly see the change from the first photos to the last. IT looks like you’re happy with your style ? Everything is so pretty!

  • Nancy
    September 29, 2019

    Oooh it is interesting to learn about how you got into Gyaru. I love that there are specific outfits set aside to let people experience the lifestyle. Sometimes, we live and learn a little during the process. I love seeing the transformation over the year – and pretty cool that there is a grew out for meetups.

    Nancy ♥

    • hellolizziebee
      October 6, 2019

      Yes, that is exactly it! I think everyone has embarrassing beginnings; no matter if it’s something like art or fashion, we all had to start somewhere! Thank you so much Nancy!

  • Kieli
    October 1, 2019

    I always love seeing the stories about the journey’s beginning. I also find it interesting how most of us start in Lolita. I’m glad I got to read about some of your gal journey as they happened on your blog though. Seeing this recap reminds me of those posts and how much we’ve grown <3 And thank you for the mention!♥

    • hellolizziebee
      October 6, 2019

      Awh me too! It’s always refreshing to see someone else’s beginning <3 And of course! I really liked your entry so I had to mention it at the bottom of mine!

  • Michelle
    October 6, 2019

    While I personally don’t wear Gyaru fashion, I have such an appreciation for the style! It’s so pink, girly, and makeup is always on point! ♥