Shiny Violet Star

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Spring Break + Other Activities + Fashion Rants: Popteen becoming the catalyst for the Death of Gyaru and 109

I probably should finally do a blog post after forever huh?

Not much has gone on in the past month admittedly. It's my senior year of university though I graduate in the fall semester so I have one more round of this. But's been pretty busy. I've been up and at it with midterms and whatnot and I'm taking my senior thesis this semester so you can only imagine what that's looking like yeah? 

Anyway, I was permitted a bit of a spring break. I wish I could have done more but honestly, I did quite a bit behind the scenes! On the first day of my spring break, I ended up working on my hair and touching it up. I haven't done anything to it since January so it was much needed. I cut and re-bleached the top of it. I didn't do the ends because I was scared of accidentally giving myself a chemical cut or some shit.

 The second day I spent the time cleaning my room which had turned into a disaster zone since I had gotten swamped with work.

However, by Tuesday, I was finally permitted to have some fun. I haven't had fun with someone else in such a long time... Typically friends stop by for a short while in my neighborhood but my friend Ichigo had decided to spend the entire day with me. I was so grateful. We even left my neighborhood for a boba adventure!!

We decided to dress up pretty crazily. At first, I thought I was going to go as dark as them but I wanted blue hair for that and it's hard to get blue hair to fade and I gotta commit to some Liz Lisa/Himekaji looks before doing that because blue hair and himekaji is too much of a clash. So Liz Lisa it was. Ichigo looked freaking ama
zing in Sex Pot Revenge. Lately, I've been helping them re-define their personal style and I feel like a proud parent watching their child thrive. The whole dark v-kei aesthetic really suits them but they have popped their head into gyaru (they have no interest in joining the comm and I honestly do not blame them, no offense guys. Some of it is just too crazy sometimes and they wanna just enjoy it on their downtime without that type of commitment) with some himekaji stuff and dude they serve it every single flipping time. 

I love how the *one day* that doing my makeup fucking counts for something, it decides to fuck up entirely and I have to start over. This isn't the first time that's happened to me but I always get irritated when my makeup decides to fuck up on a day where it's supposed to matter. I hate it, even more, when I have to start over. Do you guys ever have those days where you're trying to fix foundation lifting or your eyeliner bled a little too much but the more you try to fix or bullshit your way through it-the worse you're making it? That was me. 

Originally I really wanted to mess with color for himekaji. I wanted to do a very pastel-y spring look with a gold/orange eyelid.... But once I paired a blush color with it and my eyeliner had looked for v-kei or even dare I say-clown-like than it did himekaji. I had actually never hated a makeup look more than I hated that one. Holy fuck. 

I was really grateful that Ichigo was super understanding and allowed me to start over for a bit. ;_; I'm grateful my makeup was fine on round two. 

Honestly, it's been a while since I've done himekaji all out. It's probably been about a year or so...  I think I was feeling over-ambitious by playing with color and I had to unlearn some stuff. Himekaji is a lot simpler and ya girl is just a complicated bitch. So instead for round two, I stuck to neutrals with a navy blue edge that is sadly kind of hard to see but I promise you it's there. For lashes I used some off brand tops that a lot of people like on me (they're not my HG Japanese tops since those don't exist anymore sadly) and my HG bottom lashes that I'll fight a bitch over because those are dead too and I swear by them because they make my eyes look huge with the Princess Mimi contacts.

I feel like I need to buy different circle lenses just to change stuff up but I'm kind of trying to wait until I can get another eye exam. I'd feel stupid splurging on lenses knowing my eye pointage is about to change soon-thus making my previous contacts useless. 

For cheeks and lips, I used FlowerKnows products in reddish/orange colors. I feel like it's kind of un-gyaru but I was basing upon the colors of the dress. The thing about the Liz Lisa dress I was using is that it had a lot of red and orange accents in it that I wanted to bring out. The dress almost has a lolita-like feel to it with the ribbons intertwined with lace at the bottom and the princess neckline. 

I felt a little out of place in it despite this being one of my favorite dresses and the most comfortable that I own from the brand. I have come to the conclusion that my age is catching up to me and the older I get, the harder it is to pull cute stuff off. It makes me kind of sad but it's been bound to happen. I'll still do what makes me happy regardless until I just can't anymore. 

My hair was really simple. I think the bangs would have been cuter in a middle part but little does anyone know that a part of my root on an unbleached part of hair got bleached and so..I am hiding it. lmao. I didn't have enough bleach to bleach the whole strand so it is what it is. We're rocking a side part for a little bit and to be fair, I usually do that anyway. -shrugs- I have one more himekaji look I wanna do before throwing blue in...

Ichigo and I derped around and took some pictures after our boba run in the next town over. They saw the secrets to my cat-fishing. ahaha.. Honestly, our pictures turned out pretty cool. Very the opposite aesthetics looking. Like the real-life Momoko and Ichiko from the movie Shimotsuma Monogatari. lmao. Which is pretty legit because I really do live an hour and a half away from Baby the Stars Shine Bright in San Francisco via a train ride and I live in the fields with the cows. I also dress cute but am secretly brash... I don't particularly do lolita but man do I relate to Momoko feeling like a fish out of water... You're trying to be the best version of yourself in not the best of circumstances because you want to strive to make that version of yourself a total reality in better circumstances. I don't know if that makes any sense but it certainly is quite isolating because it will make you a loner. 

Anyway, Ichigo had mainly come over because we had done a couple of really crazy Harajuku/Shibuya clothing and accessory hauls. I had sent them over to their house since of them were group orders, so I was getting a month or two's worth of shit coming to me all at once. 

It's been a very long time since I delved into the realm of Harajuku fashion. Like I said, I'm not doing lolita but I certainly bought a lot of old gems from Sex Pot Revenge, h.Naoto, and BPN/Peace Now. Lately, I've been wanting to experiment not only with rokku but maybe some androgynous looks as well? I've always styled up other people in visual kei things but had never truly indulged in it myself properly. 

I certainly bought some rokku things from Glad News and Tutuha in my haul as well which are definitely sleek and feminine but the amount of SPR is insane and surreal finally owning it after watching other people own it (and helping others style it) for so long. Same goes with h.Naoto wear but I'm more picky with what I want from that brand. I like a lot of moons, butterflies, and sparkling pieces rather than distressed stuff or whatever. 

Here's a bag I bought from the haul. I forgot the name of the brand but this is such a badass fucking handbag. I love the metal hardware and the lock. It's suuuper androgynous. I can see a bandman or a host carrying this bitch around but I can also see a bangya babe sporting this shit. I've never owned a bag with black leather and silver hardware. Usually, I get stuck with gold hardware (because agejo) but I actually prefer silver anything including jewelry!!  The leather is super nice on this and is probably one of my nicest bags other than my dying Samantha Vega bag (because I carry that one out too much). 

I did film a haul video but I didn't like how it turned out so guess who gets to refilm it? This bitch. It's became such a massive hoard of things that might have to film it in two parts. Like forreal, I've bought so much shit that is doesn't all fit in my closet. I gotta rearrange some shit or just...figure out a different storage method. Cute shit and then dark shit because that's basically been the theme of my hauls. You know how it be with me. LOL. I dress according to mood and I never really stick to one aesthetic. It's really fun that way though because nobody knows what to expect from me when I show up. 

I've bought so much old-school boho Liz Lisa shit that I deadass had to buy new shoes to fit the whole vibe. I found some really cute cowgirl boots that fit me well. My legs are pretty big and swollen (I really don't know what's wrong with me health-wise. :( I've cut soda, I've been eating's either water retention or hormones and I can't wait until I have a stable job to have proper insurance to figure out what actually is going on with me that's making me gain weight so awfully) I'm really glad these boots fit me fine. I love the little ribbon laces, the eyelet details in the leather, and bow attachments around the ankle. I loved them so much in design that I got them both in brown and white because I have a lot of dresses in that colorscheme. 

Other than Liz Lisa I've also bought my first Jesus Diamante clothing items. I owned a pair of heels before but I actually have never bought clothing pieces. I'm afraid that currently, they won't fit sadly. I really want this one really royal looking empire dress in the black colorway but I always find it in a size 38 and I definitely need a size 42. I bought a couple boleros and cardigans and I'm so happy they fit me just fine even at a size 38. I can't button them worth a shit thanks to my boobs but they fit around my arms and don't ride up my back/my shoulders are fine. I think once I get my health in order, I'll invest in a little bit more of Diamante as a brand because it's super ladylike and I love pretty things like that. 

I don't know if I'd even fully go all out in Himegyaru but I'd like to try it properly one day. 

Ichigo also really got me into darker shit and I finally felt validated enough to kind of indulged in my teenaged closeted admiration for visual kei. I'm not really a crazy person when it comes to bands anymore. That was more of the shit in my youth. I mainly just follow Lezard, Acme, and the Gazette now and other J-Rock shit that isn't v-kei. But I've always liked the fashion associated with it. I really want to pull off some really androgynous looks now that I have androg clothes. I've always loved Sex Pot Revenge but it was always so fucking expensive to buy.... Now that I have it though, it's so friggin comfortable wtf. 

I also keep putting off doing a look because a part of me wants to do dark shit but I wanna dye my hair blue and once I do that, my hair will be blue for a while. It takes forever to fade but there's a himekaji look I also wanna do but I want full outfit pics because I have some stuff from Mayu's brand that I want to properly showcase and it's just a matter of pestering someone to take pics for me. Ughh. 

So yeah, I guess my issue lately has been that my aesthetics and plans for content are clashing because I know once I go dark I'll have to obligate myself for a bit since my hair will be colored and it just doesn't work well with himekaji. LOL. I need to color my hair soon tho because my roots are gonna grow out. x_x 

Ichigo and I ended up hanging out and talked while making Korean BBQ. I swear we had so much bulgogi that we just...don't want KBBQ for a while. I got us both BBQ Pork and bulgogi. I overestimated how much we could throw down. I think the banchan made us get full quickly. I did not only have just meat but I also had daikon kimchi, Hokkaido sweet potatoes, and japchae dumpings for banchan. I didn't include rice because I knew that would fill us up super fast. 

For dessert, I got us some sanshoku dango. I feel like our meal was a combination of both Korean and Japanese food. Both of which are my favorites. 

It's so funny that I've eating so much Asian cuisine before I move to Japan. I feel like I need to really get my fill of American food before it's harder to get but I don't know...American food mostly makes me feel like shit and Japanese and Korean food makes me feel less shitty? I don't know how to explain it. Other than when I do KBBQ, the portions are reasonable and I feel like a lot of food groups are I have a lot of pickled things or nori..or konjac..etc. etc. I feel like I eat healthier? 

Before Ichigo left, they sweetly supplied me with some Daiso goodies. They live near a Daiso while I live a couple cities over from it (and I don't drive so...). I was suuuuper thankful. I had only requested a pack of cotton pads and a pack of make up remover wipes but Ichigo probably had stocked me up until I leave the US. LOL. Also I've never tried the Poppin' Cooking things before and I want to wait to do them until I can do them properly on camera. 

Anyway, I vlogged a little bit of my spring break with Ichigo as seen here: 

I vlogged in a way that's popular overseas. Currently, I am a huge fan of Anchanland on YouTube. She's a bangya vlogger but I really love her style of editing. Plus, she not only goes to concerts (giving me insight on what the scene is like there) but also showcases a lot of hair salons and cafes that look interesting. As someone who is a non-partier, I love concerts and cafe hopping the most. That's more of my pace so I really love that someone who is into current things is vlogging. The vlog that caught my eye was the one she did wearing old school Ma*rs. Unfortunately, it was a one time deal for Halloween (man, my aesthetic isn't a costume ;_;) but it was so nice seeing the infamous perfume print out and about on the streets of Shinjuku. Her hair was gorgeoussss in that vlog as well. 

She is not the only vlogger that vlogs in that style that I did for my own vlog. A lot of Korean and Japanese YouTubers film and edit in this style. I assume it's so they can maintain privacy. One, because not everyone wants to be super famous. They just want to make memories through content creation. That or they wanted to maintain the privacies of their friends. Also, their line of work may prevent them from being out in the open about their hobbies. Showing themselves online or documenting things may get them in trouble, unfortunately. It's why voices disguised or faces are blurred. 

I tried this style mainly to maintain the privacy of Ichigo. While they are a content creator, I didn't want to obligate them to being such on a chill day. Honestly, I just wanted to enjoy my day as well without worrying about lighting or angles. I really wanted an ASMR-y type of vibe as well and for you guys to share the moment with me from a perspective that may be considered more first person than third person. 

I recommend trying out the vlogging style at least once. I might do more of that vlogging once I'm in Japan for work. I feel like it's way more discreet and I would be worried being too open on the internet about doing gyaru. I love gyaru but because of the connotations that come from outsiders, I'm. afraid it would bar me from job opportunities sadly. It sucks because I want to work to maintain not only my stability and independence but I also want to maintain my lifestyle as a gal. 

I'm hoping that as long as I do a really good job and stay motivated that my own personal time can be my own... There's a time and place to do these sorts of things once you become an adult. I don't drink or party..or mess around with people or whatever else so if me dressing like a weirdo is the worst thing I can do...I think I might be okay. LOL...

Other than spring break, I've actually been pretty busy speaking of work. I had a midterm immediately after my spring break as well as like..six assignments due all on the first week back on the same day. I was so frazzled and exhausted that I was turning in things in the wrong places even! After that Friday, I managed to film and edit a magazine video. I had been planning this project for awhile and encourage other gals to also do the same. I chose my favorite magazine out of my collection of gyaru magazines which is, Popteen's 2005 issue with Namie Amuro on the cover. I got this magazine two years ago and really is a gorgeous one. 

I mainly got it because of Namie Amuro but the contents inside are very strong. There's Tsubasa pre-plastic surgery...there's old aesthetics...there's a Nana movie spread that I have yet you show you all. In all, it's such a fun magazine. I uploaded the first part of the magazine here: 

I was really shocked by the response it got. I mainly did these sorts of videos because I don't need to doll up for them in order to make content. The issue with me sometimes is that I'm very tired based on school. That or like...after I get all set up with ring lights and stuff..I dread doing make up because I know I'll just sweat and die. LOL. I wish I was going out more so that way I would already be dressed up and just film. I feel like because my gyaru stuff is so limited to YouTube and Instagram due to the pandemic, I'm not getting as motivated. I want to save my nice things for going out. Not for a video if that makes any sense at all.. 

So doing magazines was simple enough. I wanted it to feel like you were flipping through a magazine with a friend. Plus, I feel like there are so many "baby gals" that have joined the gyaru community and a lot of them (no offense) really do miss the mark when it comes to paying attention to eras of fashion or over all styling/hair/makeup. Of course you have to start somewhere but we all know my opinion on this. 

If you're not a participant of this style or very new to it, it's not really right for you to be educating people on gyaru or having an opinion of it. I feel like all of that comes with time and experience...lots of research, trial and error on yourself, and really figuring out what you like as a gyaru. 

A lot of the reactions I got towards the December issue of Popteen was, "I didn't know Popteen looked like this"...and I will admit, I was slightly disappointed but then kind of not shocked? This era of Popteen is probably when there was a true gyaru boom. Celebs mimicked this shit. Tsubasa was about to pop off and brand herself. Truly, this is the era everyone should have paid attention to because as shocking as old school Egg was with manba/yamaba/'s actually kind of short lived to be so memorable. It's only memorable because it's outrageous not because it was long lasting versus this style of gyaru that is way more attainable and due to that, is overlooked. 

But honestly, because it was attainable and wearable, a lot of people started wearing gyaru in this way. This was the Popteen I grew up on and didn't think much of (because I was getting into Kera magazine comparatively and really loved intricate gaudy lolita and v-kei was my vibe back in my teens) it but if you look really closely, the outfits in this Popteen are really well thought out and a product of it's time. The coordination is really simple and I think "baby gals" would really benefit off of this era because it's a lot of t-skirts, denim skirts, interesting shoes, hats, and layering. It's actually not as complicated as the more "extra" styles are and you'll immediately look gyaru if you do the hair and make-up right. 

I feel like a lot of people associate Popteen with their himekaji/Liz Lisa/Popteen-kei showcases from the 2009-2012 which is great...I love that era too but that's honestly when things began to shift and gal became less of Popeen's priority. I explained in a comment that Popteen was never mean to be a gyaru magazine. It was just a trendy magazine for teens and gyaru just happened to be a very long-term trend especially with a large Avex boom (dude so many Avex artists are on the covers from the 2000s no lie...Ayu, Koda Kumi, Namie, BoA, Dream (I think?), among others)... I think a lot of girls wanted to look like celebs at one point and that whole ideal has kind of died over time. There currently isn't an "it" girl for anyone to look up to like there was before. Even when it wasn't Avex artists, it shifted to models like Rola, Jun Kumori, Okarie, Kumicky, and of course the reigning queen of Shibuya; Tsubasa Masuwaka. 

The thing is...models kind of shift with the trends over time. They're not their own brand like music artists are I feel like. For example, Namie despite her age will always be known for some style of mini skirt and thigh-high boot. Ayu will always be known as the Madonna of Japan to me. She's extra AF to the point where it gets her criticized. 

Kumicky and Tsubasa have gone the Omottesando auntie route nowadays with their look because they're not "young and cute" as my Japanese professor says (haha) to really do anything more than what they're doing, Their wives and mothers now and have settled down mostly...partaking in high-end trends since they've reaped the rewards from their previous domination over fashion. However, nobody really passed off the crown to the younger generation and I think that's a huge problem in the market. 

Popteen really started relying on Liz Lisa and Liz Lisa relied on Popteen. Once Popteen shifted to an "otona" route for the magazine, the brands also had to shift and change because most of their customers were readers of Popteen. Popteen being a dominating magazine that was affects 109 I feel, made other magazines also shift their marketing because suddenly, 109 brands were toning down to cater towards Popteen's readership. This is why Egg and Ranzuki toned down..they were working with whatever 109 was giving them. The thing is too, notice how Ageha was toning down a little bit but at that shift brands like Ma*rs, Rady, Emiria Wiz, DaTuRa, Golds Infinity,  Glad News, and Ghost of Harlem were all standing pretty strong...

I'm assuming it's because they weren't relying on 109 as their main source for fashion sales. Of course some of those brands were in 109, but not all of them. I found that a lot of the extra-looking shit for a little bit was in Shinjuku rather than in Shibuya for a little bit. As people got older, the less they wanted to troll around the younger part of town maybe? The gyaru possibly had grown up and out of Shibuya and looked for (and worked in) nightlife activities else where and shopped elsewhere. 

Eventually Ageha was affects but I did notice how for a minute, it took them a minute to tone down into the whole My Melody + Kuromi cosplay Larme aesthetic that has been dominating brands like Ma*rs, Ank Rogue, and Liz Lisa that were all previously gyaru staples. 

I hate to say I want to blame Popteen for why gyaru got fucked over but truly...think about it. What the heck stayed alive when all the other magazines died out? What fashion do you see both in 109 and featured in Popteen? I think it's all connected. It's sad too, I used to be VERY enthusiastic about Popteen. Even more than Koakuma Ageha at one point. I have a love/hate relationship with the magazine. 

Making my video was fun because I got to fondly look back on stuff that I kind of grew up seeing on YouTube or just...Japanese media. 

I'm glad everyone is enjoying the video though. I hope it can give you some inspiration or show others that maybe they are overthinking gyaru as a style too much. I'll hopefully have Part II out very soon, so keep your eyes peeled! 

Anyway, I'm sure this blog is getting too long so I will call it a morning. It is 6 am over here after all and I've been up working on a portfolio assignment for a class making a mock cover letter and resume but thought since I was in a writing mood, that I would finally update my blog!

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