Monday, 3 November 2014

5 Things I Learnt about Gyaru through Cosplay

Cosplay is mainstream. Cosplay is popular. Long ago those who consumed and enjoyed Japanese media were labelled as 'otaku' (not a good thing, I promise) or even worse; a weeaboo. Nobody wants to be tarnished with that brush or have that insult hanging above their head. Nowadays the hobby has started sneaking into mainstream media and gyaru are beginning to open up and admit that they actually enjoy this sort of activity.

For example, take Pikarin. She's cosplayed characters such as Madoka Kaname, from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Miku Hatsune and even Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin. Ageha (RIP) had a feature on titan make-up from Shingeki no Kyojin as well as other subjects.

Although I've learnt a lot from following gyaru that aids cosplay (usually make-up), I've also learnt a lot of skills from cosplay that can be used in gyaru.

1. Wearing high heels for a long period of time.

I won't lie. I have naturally weak ankles which tend to collapse if I so much take a step once the colder weather stepped in and if it hadn't of been for cosplay I wouldn't have even dared to wear high heels in this weather. However, for the sake of cosplay I was forced to and I found out that I could wear heels as well as have comfy feet all day long.

We've all had that incident where you have to whip your heels off and wonder why you're subjecting your poor tootsies to something so painful. Thanks to cosplay I can avoid that for the most part. Mostly. I still have times where my feet scream, "WHY," at me.

2. Eyelashes make a difference.

I thought a pair of false eyelashes is just that; a pair of false eyelashes. I never imagined the difference the style of them would make to my eyes! I was the type of girl who used to bulk buy off eBay and then settled for my oh-so-gyaru Dolly Wink lashes that would make me look like an Ageha model (spoiler: they didn't). It was when I bought a pair of Jewerich lashes for my Junko Enoshima cosplay that I realised that there was a difference to be made here.

Your false eyelashes can change the way your eyes look. Whether it's a cute himekaji look or whether you're going for a rokku look, the eyelashes make a world of difference. I can't imagine Dolly Wink lashes being dramatic enough to be rokku in any way, shape or form. Maybe if you wore 3 pairs of them simultaneously, maybe.

3. Styling wigs. And halfwigs.

For years wigs have been part of gyaru, whether you wear them or not. Hairpieces, too. There's no way that a girl with thin hair is going to be able to have a huge sujimori style without some assistance and there's not a chance in hell that you're going to have blonde hair one day and red the next without wrecking your hair. With cosplay the importance of wigs is stressed and unless you're a pro at cutting hair, you have to learn how to do things the hard way. Styling wigs isn't like styling hair as unless you're working with a heat resistant wig, I'd be wary of sticking the hairdryer on close to the plastic fibres. Mmm, plastic gloopy mess. Just what I wanted.

By being a cosplayer I learnt how to both style and care for wigs before I moved onto my pricey half-wigs and billion hair pieces. I've been known to wear 5 - 6 wig pieces at once which I don't think I'd be able to deal with if I didn't have some sort of experience.

Thank you cosplay gods.

4. Wearing your make-up like a drag queen.

I'm sure that all gyaru want their make-up to show up in their photos. Heck, if I've made an effort I want some of it to show up instead of looking like I'm going au-naturale. If I've done my make-up especially for photos I've learnt from photos that I want it to look heavy; like a drag queen. That way it's gonna show up.

Same applies with gyaru make-up. At present I'm not happy with how may own make-up shows up on camera so I have to make it heavier. Bah. I don't need the natural look at all.

5. Fixing accessories.

Raise your hand if you've been guilty of breaking an accessory over time. I am. I remember how I watched on in horror as I watched the clasp of my brand new MA*RS necklace go flying across the room as I tipsily tried to pull the thing over my head. I was pretty devastated. Thanks to some jewellery pliers I had laying around it was easy enough to attach a new clasp to my precious brand. If I hadn't of had those pliers laying around from the time I made some earrings for a cosplay I would've probably still been scratching my head.

I'm terrible at creative things. Doing this was easy peasy.

If you guys have any tips I'd love it if you left them in the comments.

Stay sweet! ♥

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