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