But I also recently realised that I use gyaru as a shield to protect my true self.
It all stems back to a lack of self-confidence and some self-loathing that sits deep rooted within my very core but am I really the only person who hides behind a layer of foundation? Not really. And it's okay to feel like that (to be honest I'd die if any of my real life friends saw me without make-up and I make a ton of apologies whenever I show up without a scrap of it on!). I think that there's a fraction of us girls who do follow the gyaru style to enable us to hide our ourselves from those around her; it's hard to believe I'm the only one who wears it as warpaint!
Looking around some old books I picked up over the years I found Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno which does cover some of the legacy of Buriteri, one of the most famous gyaru of all time, and this particularly struck a chord with me:
'Buriteri never showed her face without make-up. ...... Buriteri would shout back, "I am too shy to show you my real face!" She said doing herself up like that was a tool to hide her true personality. She was actually really shy and inhibited.'
If Buriteri, one of the most famous gyaru pioneers who helped evolve gyaru into what it would eventually become today, was using the gyaru persona and make-up to hide her true self then how many other people are doing it? How many other gyaru are taking off their make-up at the end of a day and falling into bed and burying underneath the duvets? How many other people are using their make-up as a shield?
Sure, the gyaru make-up in recent times cannot even begin to be compared to the highs of ganguro and gonguro and manba but there's still a lot to it. Even though it's toned down and become less about the bleach blonde hair and the fake tans there's still girls hiding behind their make-up.
And why? Why is that?
Is it the pressures of society? Is it the that we feel as though our own beings have no self-worth but only physical worth? Do we not feel as though our make-upless selves are adequate enough?
I wonder how many girls feel the same under their false eyelashes and cheers of, "Agepoyo~! ✩" I know I'm not on my own when I say my false eyelashes are my sword and my circle lenses are my shield.
Stay sweet! ♥