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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.

6 comments:

  1. I think your so right! Not the entire WGC is negative, it's just a small amount of people who think every gyaru should look like the models in the magazines, when in reality, just a handful gajin gyaru look 90% like those models.

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  2. I love how well spoken you, really. You took the words right out of my mouth. Just the other day, a girl on tumblr generalized all western gals to be catty bitches and attention whores. She mostly likely saw either the gyaruhatememe or gyaru_secret communities and made her judgment based from there. How is that in any way fair to those that aren't participating in the bashing? People love to say that everyone is included in it, but I fail to believe so. I hope more people read this post.

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  3. Well said! It really isn't fair that the anonymous haters have to throw out discouraging comments, especially to the newcomers of this style. I really love being gyaru, but I don't want people to think poorly of me just because of that. That's why I just try my best to stay away from those kinds of things, because like it or not, haters gon' hate.

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  4. Absolutely!

    Honestly, those internet wank sites are all same, gal or whatever style. Like Tricia said, there will always be haters. But by no means is the western community defined by those, at least I don't think so.

    (In my eyes, so this is from the point of a newcomer) The western gal scene is defined by the awesome girls that pull off the style, and inspire others~

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  5. OMG well well said:] You took the words right out of my mouth.
    i was recently going through this whole thing, im not used to it, >< and gettin bashed online even though i am not even active in gal online community just cus i am not gal enough according to "gal standards"(they've lurked my fb><)but they dont even know me at all IN PERSON or why i am different from them.
    and i do agree with what you said between criticism and bashing. constructive criticism is good but bashing is just...

    although i understand that the well accomplished gals wants to preserve the gyaru culture but some of those gals look down, talk shit and discouraged aspiring new comers :[ as if they know everything gal~ arent they supposed to correct us instead of treating like so? i am a new comer and i know im not as accomplished as most of you guys but some gals out there may be beautiful and accomplished but their personality&attitude are rotten towards their imoutos.

    youre last paragraph is what i really love the most<3 for some reason, it feels like you have defended me indirectly & spoken what ive been tryin to put together in my head. thank you!<333
    but sadly due to the hate i got from the online community, im sad that i am discouraged to strive as a successful gal and i kind of want to leave western gal community but its super hard, because of the gals i have met in person..like you guys!^^ you guys have been so nice to me and i love going to gal meets with you all~!
    i know i seem kinda weak and i didnt defend myself well from the haters but i feel happy again because of this!^^ thank you!

    gal is supposed to be fun, meeting new friends and having a good time sharing thoughts and fashion sense with your gals but it seems like its very dark and different Online >< even if you try HARD to avoid it, they still hit you:[

    you're truly one of the well accomplished gals i look up to now. i think you are very different than those kind of western gyarus and i la la love you!^o^

    i am soo sorry i wrote too long -.-

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  6. I have to agree with all of you. I don't really thing that newcoming Gals should deserve to be bashed at all. No one deserves that bashing and it's not cool for them to say those kinds of things about others. Sure, We are all new and we will be slightly amateur at our styles but we need someone who is willing to teach us the ropes, and show us all things new and stylish. You were amazing.

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