Word used to describe a particular style popular with young people in and around Tokyo
. However, sightings have been also been accounted for in areas besides Tokyo like Osaka
, and unbelievably in Hawaii
, Los Angeles
, and even Texas
! It is used not only to describe females (gyaru) that are of this "style", but has also started to be used to describe males (gyaru otoko) that are of this "style". BTW the same word "gyaru" used in kogyaru
. There has also been a new sub-group called "gyaru mama" who are women of this style, but have children, hence, mama. Lastly, the word yamamba
is being used less and less to describe females of this style, much to their relief.
The most common way to describe males and females who are of the "gal" style is through the only 2 characteristics which are common across both sexes; 1. dyed brown (chapatsu) or white/silver hair and 2. deep tans (ganguro). People who meet these characteristics are considered gyarukei. Another common characteristic
among both sexes is bright colored and/or beach/surfing style clothing. Sometimes the deep tan is taken a little far, to the point of being black (sometimes referred
to as "gonguro" but I haven't heard this word for a while).
Other common characteristics for females include: platform shoes (atsuzoku boots), bright colored make-up, colored contact lenses, short skirts (even in the winter), fake eyelashes, wigs, and "loose socks".
There are a lot of stereotypes and myths about gyarukei going around that are untrue. They are misunderstood just as much as and are a lot like punks, goths, computer geeks, or whatever sub-culture you can think of. For example, some say they are all stupid and aren't capable of using correct japanese. If you have ever been corrected and made fun of by a chapatsu girl with bright make-up
and a dark tan wearing a business suit for using incorrect japanese or slang, you know this is not true! Also, it is often said that they have loose morals and do enjo kosai. Bullshit! The people who say these things have never met or talked to a gyarukei person. There are just as many normal people that do the same things and worse. Lastly, it is oftern heard that they are not hard working and do not have a strong work ethic. On the contrary, there are a lot of people that have hopes and dreams and go to school full time and work very hard over 40 hours a week to achieve them.
Finally, when I hear the word "gyaru", Shibuya and parapara come to my mind. The chances of seeing a person of this style in and around Shibuya station is 120%.
Parapara is a type of dance that is pretty popular among gyarukei. A lot of non-gyarukei people are turned off on parapara because of the link with gyarukei, but don't knock it till you try it! Parapara is usually done to eurobeat and plain dance music.
As with puutarou, I must be objective because I have friends that are considered gyaru-kei. I do admit that some people go overboard and pay dearly; as in a 21 year old that looks ten years older because of her ganguro phase she went through. However, there are some that do not go overboard with the make-up or the tans and are drop dead beautiful and gorgeous by anyone's standards.
"kei" is a kanji used to group by some sort of connection or relationship, and in a lot of cases this is by fashion or style.