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.