Friday, January 28, 2011

old-school gyaru style & val gal's make update .

If someone tells you that you don't need "big curly blonde hair", a tan, paled lips, etc. to be GAL ............ ............they are absolutely right >o>
(& actually, it seems nowadays there is a LOT of contempt towards this look as a gyaru standard...sad.)
But doesn't mean you can't rock the old-school gyaru look anyway!

basic formula. pale hair + pale lips + pale eyes + pale highlighter + contrasting tan 8D

COCONA is a huge style idol for me. To get this look, these are my musts:
1. ash / light blonde hair
2. tan!
(though this is natural for me)
3. light green / blue / grey circle lens
4. 3 pairs of lashes of considerable height
5. highlighter on eyes, cheeks, nose (contour)
6. nude / light pink lips
7. heavy darker shade blush
8. glitter eyeliner (usually gold)

Probably biased because I got into gyaru back in 2005 when the definition of gal was based on the ever-popular extremes of ganguro & yamanba. The magazines like EGG made it a rowdy, colourful, sexy, but WEARABLE street style as well, & then of course back then majority of the active people online were obsessed with Kaa-tan, 渡辺かおる Watanabe Kaoru, 吉田夏海 Yoshida Natsumi, & Angeleek for the more extreme. I even wore some very flamboyant banba-style make-up & hair for the entire first sophomore semester at my university (University of San Francisco). The receiving crowd was extremely discouraging, but there were the few who would approach & actually give me kudos for having balls---SWEET >0>

THE POINT IS---I still really like the relative extremes/difference of those styles, even though sexier & 'prettier' styles like agejou, sexy onee, koakuma, amekaji (& even still sometimes himegyaru) styles have evolved as the majority of gyaru-style preference, at least in the western world, I'd say. There's something about the aesthetic of the pale hair, pale lips, pale eyes, with the tan that I still find 'wild & sexy'----& I'm not talking about looking like sunburnt beach barbie trash >0>

If I'm not doing a more exaggerated look, my gal style doesn't even come off distinctly gyaru. Especially in photos, even my most extreme make just looks gyaru at best, even if I look like an alien in person. I know it's all in the application & me not getting the look down, but I can't seem to get it right.

I actually just really like looking unnatural.

Could be more extreme like this though.

Friday, January 21, 2011

memories of western gyaru elitism.

western GAL elitism used to be far more potent than it is now. There used to be an actual ELITE, as defined: a group of persons exercising the major share of authority or influence within a larger group (source). Kind of funny cause they used to argue over this definition too, considering how often they were accused. A very small bunch indeed, you knew each one by name actually, & they'd been well-known in the community, & highly respected, most often out of the conviction that their seniority in knowledge of the GAL world made them the authorities over the western share of it & their ability to EAT YOU ALIVE in front of a very intimate audience (what like 4-500 compared to today's 2,835 @ e-g) of westerners. Most of that 'respect' earned was probably out of fear than actual style accomplishment, which by today's standards was nothing more than cosplay.

Nowadays, I suppose, the elitism is defined: the choice or best of anything considered collectively. The problems I see most often cited have to do with:
1. having unrealistic expectations of a majority of normal girls to look like airbrushed magazine models
2. having unrealistic & unconscious expectations that non-asian gals look like 'plain fashionable western girls' because ultimately they don't have the 'asian' look
3. fostering a hostile environment that doesn't allow for creativity or flexibility in style or the ability to 'learn' as a newcomer
4. the ultimate issue with anonymous, unwarranted & irrelevant comments that stifle the growth & harmony of western gyaru as a fashion.

The problem with #3 is that for some, there is a textbook definition of gyaru, & for others, there is not. Indeed, there do need to be guidelines for what is considered gyaru, but these must be working guidelines that are not judged by a checklist of components but by the overall product.

we have to consider, however, the amount of girls that tumble their way into the communities with 0 relevance to the style. There also has to be a line drawn between criticism & bashing; while most complaints are about the 'too-mean', this is probably a backlash to the 'too-nice' that does indeed go on. you can't blame the group of well-accomplished gals who want to preserve the style's potency for what it is without watering it down into something it's really not :( so the problem is with people who are using the checklist to judge others unfairly vs. the people using the checklist to validate style when the style doesn't actually come together as gyaru. So the wolves do feed, but there's those also crying 'wolf'.

another problem with #3 is consistency of style & reputation; for example, that checklist is so flimsy, so demanded by many while being denied by many more, that a girl judged as a #1 GAL one post may be rejected in the next. are we judging clothes? are we judging attitude? do we call Tsubasa a GAL in the magazine or in the runway show but not a gal when she sports her sweats down the street running errands?

They said it may never happen in such a big place, but some of us experience western gyaru OFFLINE as opposed to being swept into the negativity that festers all over these online communities on an unending basis. & many a times, the stylistically best & most admired of the western community ARE those that have created it as a lifestyle for themselves, whether part of a gyaru-sa, or living as a GAL in japan, or even an individualized experience outside of both. ---it's probably because they aren't so obsessed with the negativity & fear of being bashed that they do find success & happiness in their style. -----& I suppose it's because of that that when I think of the western gal community, my experience of it isn't comprised of an entirely negative connotation, & I don't think it's fair to summarize the entire western gal experience as a fuck-up or bashing situation---in fact, I think it's actually come a long way ! & probably because my understanding is that the anonymous bashing, the unwarranted criticisms, & communities like gyaruhatememe pretty much draw the line between the actual community & those who simply troll to criticize (& probably do so in a world of other fashions & fandoms outside of gyaru anyway), so I don't see the hatred of it as being a real part of the western gal community specifically anyway.

GANTZ --- Live-Action Global Premier -- QUIKK REVIEW .

Last night was a date with the hubbie to see the GANTZ! Live-Action Global Premier. Saw it @ Universal CityWalk & we showed up incredibly early thinking there'd be a line wrapped around the theatre 8D ....... ........ but no D8 ?

ADAPTATION. needed more ecchi. >o> but with respect to audience & viewership universality .... it can slide XD

Obviously what was most pleasing is that Japanese cinema doesn't have the same tendency as Hollywood movies to turn stories like these into over-explosive, switch-scenes-every-3-seconds action flicks. The pace of the movie stayed loyal to the pace of both the manga & the anime: very slow, with all attention paid to character development, expression & motion. Anyone who has read the manga knows how lengthy & drawn-out the scenes & exchanges between characters are, & the art really captures every second of a character's thoughts & their consequent changes in reactionary facial expressions & twitches.

COSTUMING/DESIGN. Aside from the pace, the costuming & CG of the ALIENS was also done really well; just about exact to the art you viewed in the manga & anime both, with no effect or make-up as 'too fake' or trying too hard to make the design more than what it needed to be.

CASTING. & KEI KURONO'S CHARACTER. I don't know anything about Arashi or Kazunari Ninomiya prior to what I've seen in GANTZ. Kei Kurono's movie character seemed to be the one I felt most iffy about---mostly because I think I had anticipated him to be more of a perverted, teenage lowlife delinquent than the way he was portrayed, which seemed more of simply an unsuccessful, lack-of-presence job-striving individual (I hadn't finished the released manga so maybe I missed something here). The character, in the context of the movie, however, didn't take away from the consistency of the storyline; & aside from that, I thought the casting was done impeccably well, ESPECIALLY in the case of Kato Masaru & Joichiro Nishi.

ONE CHARACTER I DID MISS , THOUGH : INU T______________________T LOL

thanks for reading 8DD i would so cosplay that $5000 leather suit everyday like nobody's business .

Monday, January 17, 2011


A couple Saturdays ago we went to see Devil's Playground in the ANIME BABES Burlesque Show @ BORDELLO (www.bordellobar.com)

Decided we are classy because, despite wearing nothing, we are wearing blazers over nothing. Twins by opposite: she with dark hair & black blazer, me with ash blonde & white suit jacket. We are mistaken for underage escorts. Well, maybe that's no mistake.

Julie knows one of the burlesque starlettes. We have polished our social etiquette to be charming;
thusly, I charm the photographer, who is charmed by Julie.
He wears a bowler hat with a coat printed like a carpet-bag.
We run into him throughout the night; or rather, he runs about, in & out like a leprechaun.
He takes photos with my cheap camera. Well it's not cheap, it was downright free.
He disappears to fix it. He has no idea what he is doing.
He has promoted himself from flirting to rubbing our backs.

The bouncer is a dramatic extreme for a door-checker; he wears his long shiny black hair pulled back into a polished ponytail, a trim black suit hugging him head to toe. He rolls his R's, he has successfully tagged himself as the quintessential 'Latin lover'. Julie is first. I get a look at his face. He doesn't acknowledge me. Smooth words from smiling lips. I am standing there a long time for being ignored. Now I get a turn. My ID is next. A good look in my face. Some flirtation to go with it.
"They'll start performing soon!"
"When does the bar start performing?"

After one drink in one sip, I order a shot & cocktail for a chaser.
I tip the brunette instead of the blonde.
After one sip, Julie is drunk.

Four to five people are staring down at Julie as she claims the whole couch by filling only 1/8th of it. "My friend is sitting there."
I'm back. "I'm sitting there."
They want to share, but wouldn't be able to all sit by themselves anyway. They are looking at me, but talking to vodka; vodka replies: "LET'S FIT."
The platinum blonde sits down at the end. Julie squeezes into the other end. Julie is as thin as a number-two pencil. I attempt likewise, but I'm more like a fat sharpie. The largest guy sits down; he sinks into the hole I was drowning in earlier. The skinny guy sits on my lap, which I offered. As a joke.
The platinum blonde also gets one in her lap; how'd she get the hot guy?
Large man, with suggestive eye, suggests I sit on his lap instead. "I'll probably break you," say I. I am at least 50 lbs. less than him in weight & height.
Skinny says I'm comfortable, wiggles his hips into me.
Large man looks like he wants to try again. Says something I immediately forget.
Skinny is bouncing on my lap.
Large man says something I forget again, or never heard.
I don't remember them leaving?
But I remember sitting on the floor beside Julie instead.

Latin Lover is outside recycling his smiles and kisses, rubbing his cologne on someone else's Versace. "Ladies, where you going???"