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1Jul/090

Japanese Gyaru Finds A Foothold in the UK

It seems that teens and twenty-somethings in London have recently discovered the ancient Japanese manba fashion trend.  Manba is a subset of ganguro fashion, which is in itself a small part of gyaru ("gal") subculture in Japan, a youth fad during the 90's, now regarded as archaic and passe.  Ganguro are typically high-school and college girls with fake tans, bleached hair, and an over-application of makeup.  Clothing includes plaform shoes, brightly-colored t-shirts and miniskirts, and copious amounts of cheap jewelry.  Manba, to put it simply, are ganguro turned to 11.  They have disturbingly deep tans, brightly colored hair, clothing in colors most people have never encountered, and makeup that make Gene Simmons raise an eyebrow. It should be known that the term "manba" comes originally from "yama-uba", a hideous, mountain-dwelling crone from Japanese mythology.

In addition to the gyaru culture's fashion, the youths of England seem to have embraced it's music and dance, the para-para. A very guided dance style, para-para are the series of choreographed moves accompanying eurobeat songs.  The routines usually consist of the dancers staying in one place and executing a series of energetic arm and body movements to accompany the song. Typically performed in large groups, para-para is considered somewhat embarrassing to enact alone.  These brave soldiers have no such reservations, though perhaps they would be less fond of the style if they new about the more recent innovations by para-para paragon, DJ OZMA?

Or perhaps not. Considering their current place in the timeline of Japanese culture, they will no doubt discover him in a decade or so.

It should be noted, however, that the two subjects featured here, Eilish and Declan, aren't truly invested in the culture, as their tans are merely black-face.

BBC World Service (follow for two videos and a surprising revelation)

Posted by Tzion

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