I think I want to start a series of questions in relation to gal. Now, I'm not claiming to be any sort of expert at all. But I would like to at least help shed some light on things. There are a ton of gals out there that have debunked a lot of common curiosities about gal but I feel like there are still more "mysteries" out there. And maybe even some that didn't get enough of a thorough explanation.
First one I want to tackle is:
Do I need to dress oldschool to be gal?
Every gal should know the history of how and when it began. It's been around for a long time. I recommend this 3-part article to catch up on the history in case you don't know or want to have a refresher!
Because of gal's strong origins and roots in 90s fashions, a lot of gals including myself will find ourselves looking to dress just like that. There's no rule, unspoken or not, that says you have to do this. We do it by choice.
I personally always preferred fashions from the 80s, 90s and y2k eras. I can't speak for anyone else but I just find that designers were just more experimental and fun back then. It was all about patterns, colors and sometimes even just saying "whatever" and throwing a bunch of nonsense together.
By around 2015 or so, we started noticing a huge shift in everything. Gal had already become a shell of what it used to be pre-2012 in Japan. Around the world, it became more about fast fashion. Influencers. If it didn't make money, it wasn't worth the investment. The kawaii vs edgy aesthetic took over. Monochromatic. Simple was best.
Gal itself even toned down on just about everything. A lot of big clothing brands faded from existence. Makeup was not as OTT and became cuter and simple (if there was any makeup at all). Kfashion became the new trend. There was even a time with Mode Gal.
None of this is bad. Gyaru is not just a movement but also essentially a lifestyle and a fashion. Fashion had to keep up with the zeitgeist as time passed on. Some gals choose to stay with older looks and some choose to move forward. How some gals decide to live as gal depends on how they live their own life. Sometimes our lives change to having to leave gal or just being a weekend gal. And some are lucky to continue forever on as far as we would like to.
What I'm trying to say is this:
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE ONE WAY ABOUT GAL.
Choosing to be gal means you choose how you want to be and look as your own person. You do not have to live oldschool and you do not have to be more modern. You do whatever you feel is right for you.
There are so many styles that you can try whether it's rokku, agejo, hime or even manba. You can stick with one style or try a bunch. It's whatever you want to make of it. So no, you don't need to dress in oldschool to be considered gal. But just because you don't like it, doesn't mean you have to put others that want to participate in it down. Everyone is entitled to their feelings but what do you really get out of making someone else feel bad?
Gal started as a movement against traditional views of what a woman is "supposed to be". Whether this knowledge is remembered or forgotten, it is its history. Do your research and learn what you can. Do not be afraid of elitists or people that want to play gatekeeper. Go through the motions of learning through your mistakes. Don't be afraid to make them. And if you need help, there is always information available and gals that would be willing to answer questions as needed.
You get a cookie if you read through my whole rant XD
I just get really passionate sometimes.
But do let me know if you have any questions you would like me to write about and I will do my best to answer!