Japanese young women’s fashion

This video from Japan is called We love Yamamba.

From the BBC:

29 August 2012 Last updated at 23:52 GMT

Japan harnesses fashion power of gals

By Mariko Oi
BBC News, Tokyo

In every country, there are sub-cultures who define themselves through fashion. The West has goths, hippies and grunge, for example. Japan has gals.

They are young girls who look, act and speak very differently from the traditional image of Japanese women.

Since they emerged as a group the mid-90s, their looks have evolved. But a few elements have remained constant – short skirts, massive heels and big, big eyes.

This type of rebellion has been frowned on in the past. But now these gals are being courted – for their spending power, their adventurous mindset and even as a cultural export.

Gals, named for the Japanese pronunciation of girl – gyaru, were the product of the boom years – urban teens with a disposable income who were keen to stand out.

Their fashion went through various stages – big socks, foot-high wedge heels, silver hair, deep bronze skin.

The wildest of all was a group called Yamamba, who wore large circles of unnaturally white eyeshadow, giving a reverse panda-eye effect.

‘Half or full?’

Some women espoused their gal-ness more than others. Mihoko Nishii, of Japan’s largest advertising group Dentsu, said studies show that about 12% of women aged between 18 and 34 are real gals.

“But more than half of the women we surveyed are what we call ‘pa gal’ (half gal), who share similar perspectives,” she said.

“They may not look like gals but they also want to make their eyes look bigger and they like bling products,” she explained. …

Their favourite shopping centre, Shibuya’s 109 store, saw its sales double between 1995 and 2008, as other department stores struggled with falling sales.

But gals could not shield 109 from the impact of the global financial crisis. As hard times hit, they started to shop at slightly cheaper global brands, such as H&M and Zara.

And the economic crunch has curtailed their fashion ambitions to an extent.

“We are seeing a slowdown in gals’ evolution and today we see fewer obvious gals,” says Ms Yabe.

But they remain an important sub-culture – and one that Japan’s government wants to exploit.

The cabinet has approved plans to recreate fashionable districts of Tokyo in foreign cities and it hopes to export four trillion yen ($51bn; £32bn) worth of “Cool Japan” fashion by 2020.

In Girl Model, filmmakers Ashley Sabin and David Redmon follow 13-year old Nadya Vall, who willingly leaves her home and impoverished family in rural Siberia to seek fame and fortune in Tokyo, where her blond hair, blue eyes and baby doll looks are considered highly marketable assets by agents who book modeling gigs with Japanese photo editors who favor those qualities: here.

Japan’s deputy prime minister has come under fire after apparently blaming childless women for Japan’s declining population: here.

4 thoughts on “Japanese young women’s fashion

  1. Pingback: Blaming rape victims in the USA | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Reader Appreciation Award, thank you so much Horty! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Japanese young people against militarism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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