Dictionary

Here’s a page where you could get familiar with the words that I’m going to be tossing around here as well as some very basic background history. I will try my best to be as accurate as I can.

A gyaru is someone who dresses in the gyaru fashion, which is a Japanese street fashion that started in the 1970s. There are many sub-cultures (and even sub-subcultures!) of gyaru. Typically, they have dyed hair, tanned skin, and are usually teenaged girls (although there are more mature styles for adult women although some can be from total opposite spectrum of the fashion world – they would still be considered gyaru. In Japan, it’s also seen as a political movement – the ideal Japanese woman would be someone who’s petite, has straight black hair, and has extremely pale skin. Gyarus are usually the complete opposite (and often times, extreme) of that ideal type. It isn’t necessarily to “fight the man” – but it’s simply a way to say, “I can dress how I want, even if it means I have to tan my skin!” (more)

An ulzzang is a popular term in South Korea which means best face or good-looking. Usually, it describes how good a person looks. This term is also used for Korean pop groups who have a good-looking girl or boy (woman or man) who doesn’t have much of a role other than to be the “face” of the group. There are all kinds of ways to achieve this look, which includes the purchase of circle lens, expensive hair products, and, of course, photoshop. Although, there are some rumors floating around that some ulzzangs use Photoshop to enhance their features.

Lolita, according to this website, is a street fashion in Japan with the general aesthetics of the Rococo and Victorian periods. It began in the 1980’s and has since evolved. Like Gyaru, there are many sub-styles to the fashion style. The more common style is the Gothic Lolita (GL) or Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL). This particular style had gotten popular because of a musician by the name of Mana, originally in Malice Mizer with a young Gackt and eventually Moi di Mois. There’s also a lifestyle that’s unlike Gyaru and Ulzzang – it’s a philosophy of living beautifully as opposed to just dressing so. Please do not be confused with the Vladimir Nabokov’s novel of the same name (“Lolita”). The idea of the Lolita fashion is never to sexualize children. The idea is to look cute and elegant as opposed to sexy. Granted, there are sub-cultures that do have an erotic side but that is not the main focus of Lolita. If you want to learn more about the sub styles, you can look here.

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