I feel like a lot of people use J-Fashion as a way to gain attention.
Before you sit down to tell me how wrong I am, you're right to do that but please read this post. This doesn't encapsulate everyone who is in the J-Fashion community. There are plenty of people who fall outside of this category and I think a large majority of the J-Fashion community does.
You're not an attention whore if you post a selfie (c'mon, everyone loves the fuzzy feeling of validation from having people 'like' your photo). You're not an attention whore if you post on social media a lot or if you cause drama or post outfits of the day. Maybe you just like sharing a lot which is perfectly okay!
I'm talking about people who jump from J-Fashion to J-Fashion.
Even then, if you've been in one or two J-Fashion communities that's fine. Great, even! Personal style evolves over time so it's natural to see someone maybe growing tired with their current style after many months and years and moving on to something that is usually a bit different yet similar at the same time.
I call this natural progression.
Maybe there's a different term for this, I'm not sure.
For example, an example of natural progression is my friend who is a gorgeous lolita who asked me on tips for himekaji. It may feel like a big jump from style to style but they also have a lot in common. Another great example of natural progression is Lizzie from Mystic Thorn. The linked post is showing her making some 'baby steps' into hime. Coming from agejo to hime is a natural progression as although the styles are different they're also similar. I experimented and flirted with these rules whilst going for my Ayacon Ball outfit.
People who are SJAWs (Serial J-Fashion Attention Whores) are those who jump from style to style because it's popular or will gain them enough attention. It's an attempt to stay relevant in the fashion community because J-Fashion is both unique and different enough to drag the eye of people who aren't involved and unaccustomed to the unique look of J-Fashion.
Face it: if you're wearing normal clothes with normal make-up or outlandish J-Fashion clothes with J-Fashion make-up which one will net you more attention?
I don't think I need to state the obvious answer.
A SJAW will jump from J-Fashion to J-Fashion and they feed off the attention. They're gyaru for 6 months, the next 6 months they're lolita, the following 6 months they're mori, then next they're fairy-kei...
If you truly loved and felt invested into a style there would be no need to jump from style to style in such a small space of time.
There are a lot of arguments that people may come up with in order to defend their notorious jumping from J-Fashion to J-Fashion as an excuse for the real reason of, well, being a SJAW.
No. Do not even go there with me. There may be a case where you feel too old to wear a certain fashion but abandoning that and jumping straight onto another J-Fashion isn't progressive but rather a continuation of absolutely needing attention regardless if it's positive or negative.
There's plenty of examples of older people wearing fashions that people were 'too old' for such as Mao-chan and even Sakurina for gyaru. Misako Aoki, the super famous lolita model and ambassador, is 32. Junnyan is a great example of someone who looks older and is rocking the clothes he wants to wear. Age isn't a reason and is more of an excuse to jump to the next interesting J-Fashion.
Furthermore if you're too old to wear, for example, lolita, is jumping to gyaru going to make things better? Fashion isn't meant for just young people; if it was then everyone over the age 30 would be wearing jeans and t-shirts every day.
Why would you choose gyaru over a Western fashion, for example? As it isn't as exotic as a J-Fashion the clothing we see in the Western world may feel boring in comparison but gyaru, for example, has many elements which are borrowed from Western fashion but with a bit of a twist on it.
If it's not truly about attention then why is it that people always jump to J-Fashion and more recently, K-Fashion?
A lot of people use the argument that Western fashion is 'boring', yet with styles such as onee-gyaru and the now infamous Neo Gal which are slowly progressing towards the Western aesthetic and with many of these Western girls jumping onto these trends, I can't help but watch with distain. When Neogal became the 'new' thing a lot of SJAWs jumped onto it.
Feizl, for example, is another Asian aesthetic yet it's rare that girls jump onto the bandwagon of being feizl because it's not popular and will not net them attention (it's basically the Chinese version of ulzzang which is also on the rise). In fact, people are more likely to tag ulzzang than feizl because, as previously mentioned, it's simply not popular despite being extremely similar to the well known ulzzang movement.
Shironuri is yet to explode in popularity although there are one or two girls who have jumped from other J-Fashions and are now shironuri for no reason other than it's slowly increasing popualarity.
People who were once very prominent and very dedicated to a particular fashion often completely tone down once they have moved to a 'new' fashion.
Upon graduating the increasingly toned down Popteen just last year, Kumicky changed to me a 'mature' adult which meant that some of the very staples of J-Fashion make-up such as false eyelashes were gone. The image she has now is a feminine yet still westernised look. I may be wrong but I have never heard of a prominent figure go from gyaru to fairy-kei, for example, nor have I seen the reverse happen (although there may be cases; I will admit I'm not reliably informed and have no idea which figures were once considered prominent in Shibuhara styles unless you're talking about Kyary or Kimura).
In the gaijin community especially I see girls jumping from these fashions like it's normal, yet never once do Western or other Eastern fashions ever enter their new image. It's always J-Fashion. Lolita to gyaru and vice versa is common and one of the jumps I often see which is one of the ones that doesn't bother me personally; a lot of people discover one and then realise the other fashion suits them a little more afterwards. For myself, it's where the fashion jumps keep happening that an issue arises.
Another common symptom of a SJAW is that no matter what they're wearing it will somehow be related to J-Fashion. A darker, edgier look will instantly be rokku or v-kei. A boho look will be mori. A preppier look will be gyaru. A head bow of a slightly poofier skirt will be instantly labelled as lolita.
First off, there is nothing wrong with using the English equivalents of these words.
People use the J-Fashion term (even if it looks nothing like it) to describe these looks because they want the attention that J-Fashion will bring them. It's the equivalent of girls who tag their photos with everything (non-gyaru tagging everything as gyaru and ulzzang and doll and all of those 'popular' buzzwords) because it will reach more people and show them how unique and special they are.
Of course this isn't a catch all post. For example, a lolita who followed the style for 2 or 3 years before moving onto the 'ulzzang' aesthetic (I'm still not 100% sure how this can be called a style) for 2 - 3 years before moving onto gyaru would fall outside of this threshold. This could be seen as a natural progression as mentioned earlier.
It's hard to define through words and perhaps I don't have the best way to communicate on an issue that is genuinely just irritating not only to myself but a few other people. Personally I was worried about putting this up but the people who will get offended by this post are those who I would personally describe as a SJAW.
I'd love if a discussion on any of the points I've raised could be discussed. There's a few more I personally wanted to say but I honestly do not have the words to eloquently get into aesthetics, reasons, etc. It's possible to like more than one style (I do!) but I can't fathom how expensive it must be to have a gyaru wardrobe and then a full lolita wardrobe, haha!
Stay sweet! ♥