Still waiting for Progressives to offer a moral argument (or any other kind) for why income inequality in itself should be seen as anegative or as problematic on the basis of anything other than jealousy/pride.
Gal magazine “egg” (Taiyo Publications) will close it’s curtains on a 19 year 9 month legacy and suspend publication with it’s July issue to be released on May 31st. While it is rumored that gyaru have just simply dramatically decreased in number and even cease to exist, we spoke to charisma model at the time of “egg"s inital launch and dedicated Shibuya gyaru culture enthusiast, Piromu (Uetake Taku), about what is needed to liven up and revive Shibuya gyaru culture into something Japan can be proud of once again.
Uetake debuted in "egg” in 1997 and took the opportunity over to “Men’s egg” in 1999 upon it’s first publication. As the original gyaru-o charisma and “super” high school student his name was prominent.
In response to “Men’s egg”’s announcement of suspending publication in October of last year, Uetake can not conceal his grief. “It’s a huge shock, no doubt. With "egg” being next, it’s like our junior’s are completely cut off. For me, “egg” is the parent who made me and “Men’s egg” the parent who raised me.“ he says sadly.
◆The Cause of Successive Suspensions of Gyaru Magazines
It isn’t only "egg” and “Men’s egg” but also “Koakuma Ageha”, “Happie nuts” and “I LOVE mama”– fashion magazines targetting a gyaru audience becoming defunct one after the other. “If I were to speak from my own perspective, from the beginning "egg” also featured men. Due to pride in the unusual popularity these men and their fashion gained, “Men’s egg” was born. From that time it may have already began– the subdivision of gyaru. “ In analysis we’ll discuss the following four points.
【1】Gyaru’s power was dispersed into different varieties.
Originally all the different varieties of gyaru were featured in "egg”. Those different varieties were pigeonholed into separate magazines (“Ageha”, “Popteen”, “Jelly”, “Blenda”, “Happie Nuts” etc) for the sake of diversification. Because each magazine was centralized on it’s own individual icons, we lost TRUE charsima icons and thus weakened as a culture.
【2】The charisma gyaru icons have gotten older.
In the past, if you were to talk of “charsima gyaru”, they were always high school students. But as gyaru culture became legitimatized, the concept of “gyaru graduation” more or less has disappeared and gyaru icons you can refer to as “charisma” have increased in number. In general these particular gyaru in their 20’s are more mature than their teen counterparts. Their make up is lighter and they no longer tan. Their clothing and accessories are expensive and are difficult for their audience to imitate. Due to their circumstances as an adult it can’t be helped, but with the bulk of their reading audience being so young one can’t even expect them to be able to emulate these icons. It simply isn’t plausible.
【3】The profiles of the dokumo (reader models) printed in the magazines and posted on the internet are not consistent.
【4】Dokumo (reader models) have become TOO professional.
In the past they were in the streets of Shibuya… now they’re on SNS and blogs. The only need to see them in the flesh is to go to a fashion show or event. If not confined to the downtown of Shibuya, the gyaru in Shibuya today have lost their meaning. The culture loses to social network fashion icons.
◆The Key to Reviving Gyaru Culture.
Due to the current cultural trends, the city of Shibuya is no longer lively. Uetake says that to be able to revive gyaru culture we need to do as follows:
“Even if it’s only on the weekends, we need to revive the pedestrian boom of gyaru in Shibuya and around Shibuya station. In the past that was how a lot of stars were born. In the crowds of Shibuya gyaru stand out and warrant stares and have their photos taken. I remember this giving us a feeling of superiority. A feeling hat cannot be compared. It felt good. Even if those same photos were posted on SNS instead of printed in magazines I think that the feeling would be the same.”
For the future of gyaru and it’s culture, the birth of a charisma style icon beyond the confines of a particular magazine is key.
He then goes on to discuss the neogal idols very lightly… almost bitterly. Politely, but… yeah. As if to say if we’re not careful they’ll steal the gyaru legacy out from under us.