What are gyaru or gals?
The term “gyaru” originates from the Japanese transliteration of the English word gal (girl), and it’s a fashion subculture born in Shibuya, Japan.
It started as a rebellious fashion trend, going against the Japanese standard where beauty equals pale skin, dark hair and natural looking make-up.
Since the mid 90’s, this movement derived in many subcategories, like kogyaru, ganguro, mamba… All of them retaining the basics and the spirit of Gyaru, trying to be wild, sexy and not afraid to stick out of the norm.
Nowadays, the gyaru movement decreased drastically in popularity in favour of other fashion styles.
Kogal or Kogyaru (コギャル)
The word kogal refers to Japanese schoolgirls following the gyaru fashion style. It comes from the Japanese words “Kokosei Gyaru” (High school gal).
Some characteristics of this look are the tanned skin, bleached hair, long nails, loose socks and the mini school skirt.
Ganguro gradually replaced kogal during the 90s, with a much darker tanned skin and heavy white make-up on the eyes and lips. Eyelashes are another characteristic of this look.
Some other styles derived from ganguro, like Manba (マンバ), with a heavy tan but more colorful hairs and a tropical/beachy look.
Kuro gyaru (黒ギャル) also derives from ganguro, featuring dark tans.
A fashion style worn mainly by club hostess and older gals (but not exclusive). It’s considered a sexy and glamorous style, wich often includes stockings, fishnets and lots of lace.
Hime-gyaru (姫 ギャル)
The princess style, wichi you should not confuse with the lolita style.
One of the main characteristics of the hime gyaru style is the voluminous hair, with lots of curls. You’ll also notice the predominance of pink and cute clothes, although princesses also wear other colors like black.
Some of the accesories worn by hime gals are crowns, pearls and lace.