It’s a strange concept, isn’t it, the thought of an introverted gyaru? Gyaru are always portrayed as out-going and fun-loving in the media, but I’m so far away from that. It used to get me down quite a lot as I felt that my introverted nature meant that I wasn’t a “real gyaru”, but the older I got the less I cared. I just preferred to be in the comfort of my home with my husband and my cat than out partying, it’s as simple as that.
Hello m’dears, it is your gyaru granny speaking. I’ve been into gyaru for nearly 10 years now and it has evolved so much during that time, so it can seem a bit overwhelming to come across it as a beginner as there’s so much to take in. Here are my top tips to help you out on your journey as a gaijin gyaru!
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
The other day it suddenly hit me that I was going to turn 30 in a few years. 30. To me, my thirties would mean settling down in my own home, having a stable job and scariest of all… Children. I am not emotionally nor financially stable for any of that yet, and can’t even look after myself properly let another a mini version of myself. It’s absolutely terrifying, especially when it means that I would probably be too old for gyaru.
I would like to say that I have never experienced stupid comments in my gyaru life but that would be a huge lie. We are surrounded by some really ignorant people and it can get frustrating, and sometimes I can’t help but let my polite facade slip and grimace. There are a few things that I get asked/commented about that really grinds my gears, so below I’ve highlighted on things not to say to gyaru when you see one for the first time…
My idea of heaven would be to drink hot chocolate in a comfy sofa, surrounded by cats. Luckily heaven is a place on earth – the cat café in Nottingham was just under a couple of hours away, and it was the perfect spot for our next QueenE gyaru meet hosted by our member Rachel. We’ve been trying to do more ‘themed’ meet ups with our gyaru circle and the cat café – aka Kitty Cafe – was at the top of our list.
Buying Jfashion items outside of Japan was such a nightmare for me when I first started getting into gyaru. I remember longing for a beautiful Liz Lisa dress only to learn that I couldn’t buy it directly from their website and that I needed some sort of shopping service, and at the time it went straight over my head.
Nowadays it’s all too easy for me to buy Jfashion items – hence why I’m forever broke – but I still get a lot of questions from those wanting to get into it on where I get my clothes/accessories/stationery from. Below I have compiled a list of my absolute favourite jfashion stores (focusing more on small businesses) who I’ve had really good experience with, or who my friends have recommended, just to give you a bit of a helping hand! I’ve split everything up into different fashion sectors as not all of them are just gyaru-focused.
(Post edited on June 2020)
It’s that time of year when we’re jetting off around the globe, and enjoying the (hopefully) sunny destinations. There are so many places that I want to tick off my travel wishlist and after coming back from Japan just makes me want to go again! I aim to go on at least one holiday a year so you could say that I have experience with travelling, and being gyaru on holiday is a bit more challenging. I mean, we have to think about all of the awesome outfit ideas and the accessories to go with it, as well as figure out which styles of gyaru to pack! Below is my list of gyaru holiday tips to get you prepared for your summer escape. Hope it helps!