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*** Nov. 16th: New post is up! Link exchange is still open if you're interested~ ***

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

▫▪▣deep down and personal ▣▪▫

Hello my sweet readers. As I mentioned in my previous post, things are about to get a little personal. This post is going to be about Gyaru. I'll tell you a little about how I came across it, my inspirations, and most importantly my journey thus far/where I think I am right now. So let's get on with it shall we?

I never really had a unique sense of style when I was a teen. I often dressed as what I would labeled "like a gamer chick" which was basically t-shirt, hoodies and jeans all the way. I liked to dress up girly sometimes too, but I thought that wasn't accepted of me since I didn't hang around that crowd of people (I had few girly girl friends) and I had very few "girly" clothes/outfits anyways. It wasn't even until a year before my graduating year I started wearing makeup.

I first heard about gyaru when I was obsessed with lolita in my early high school years. I knew little about it (if anything at all) and often thought of the mamba and ganguro sub-styles when the word gyaru came to mind (not knowing those were sub-styles at the time). I thought "Wow, gyaru is really out there. I would never be able to dress like that. It wouldn't be accepted of me; I would be judged a lot..."

I didn't think much of it after that. I struggled really hard to find my own style and in a sense, I was also struggling to find myself. I had no goals, no future ambitions. I was so lost for the longest time.

I wore colored contacts the day I was allowed to get contacts. I learned slowly how to apply makeup. Through trial and error I learned what worked for me and what didn't. But I still didn't have a unique style. I still didn't know "me".

One day, I stumbled upon some Ageha magazines and instantly I fell in love with the styles it showed. I wanted to know more, but sadly I didn't know anyone with the same interest as me.

Every gyaru should know who Shiena is by now. If you don't, she's a very notable and pretty 外人ギャル (gaijin gyaru/foreign gyaru). I met her at a local anime convention a few years back. I actually learned a lot from her (through her blog, old photos, and messaging her) now that I think about it. She was the first person, along with those Ageha magazines, to fully motivate me to learn everything I can about gyaru.

During the time I met her, Shiena was in the middle of her move from here to Japan. I learned about everyday gyaru as well as gyaru secrets from following her facebook feeds. From those sites, soon learned the do's and don'ts of gyaru. The community came off to me like a pack of piranhas and scared me from ever trying to join it.

I talked to Shiena a while ago (sometime last year) and I told her how I admired her and the way she carries herself with gyaru. She told me I could do it too, and she was kind enough to take the time to explain lots of key points to me while answering my noob questions. I probably wouldn't have the courage to be where I am today if she didn't say those kind things to me.

Even with Shiena's encouragement, I was still scared to ever label or call myself gyaru. I wasn't ready. I kept thinking I wouldn't be accepted. And damn my perfectionist nature, I knew I wouldn't even accept myself.

For the past 3 years I quietly and patiently put my heart into researching and learning about gyaru. Constantly trying to improve and bring myself closer to what I only dreamed of becoming. I wanted to be happy, successful, beautiful, and most importantly full of purpose and direction.

I collected clothes and accessories from my trip to Hong Kong (all gyaru inspired), and I stalked videos labeled "gyaru" on YouTube. I began to experiment with my makeup, but nothing I did seemed to really click. Often times I find I'd look like a mess, wipe my make off and just go about how I usually do.

Finally after all this time I'm proud to say, I did it. I've taken the first step.

Browsing YouTube like I always do, I came across a video by Nuehle Vang.

I've always loved Okarie's look. She has such a clean, cute and sweet look. But I've always failed at droopy eye style make... until I saw this. I tried it out and instantly, I fell in love with my new look. I had tried so very hard to get my make on point, but I was just too inexperienced and stubborn in my old makeup habits. But after following this tutorial  I truly felt like a gyaru for the very first time.

So yeah, after all this time I think I finally found my gyaru. I didn't expect this post to be this long and I guess most people who read this won't give a flying squirrel about this post anyways. But I just felt so emotional and accomplished for the first time in a really long time. I really needed to write this, not so much for my readers (if I even have any QQ), but for me. 

I feel like I've reached sort of a milestone in my journey to finding myself. I'm so thrilled and I hope that I can keep growing and one day become a notable 外人ギャル too.

Here are some snaps of the "new me" (^v^) 
My hunny doesn't like the way he looks here :(

I don't think I'm quite there yet, but I feel like I've improved massively from my efforts before. I feel like I can finally begin to call myself gyaru and really immerse myself in it. I still have a long way to go, I know. But it feels good to finally have a start.

I'm always down to meet more friends that have a passion for gyaru. Let me know where you are in your journey~ Please continue to follow mine! 
Thank you so so much for reading. See you again soon 
Strawberry On Top Of Cupcake