This is an add from online shop Nary that appeared in February's Ageha. The brand advertises a LOT with their Koakuma Ageha identity but I'm sure all of you that identify with Ageha and the styles it portrays, agree that this is a bit of an odd one out (Not saying this is a bad thing). A responsible factor in this is the model. At first glance I didn't know whether she was Japanese or half or foreign (Asian), but her look reminded me (the Japanophile with hardly any interest in Korea anymore) of one thing: S-line. Alonside her dark hair and styling that tells me k-pop rather than 'Ageha', you can't get around her amazing figure: a volumnious yet compact bust and round yet modest hips in a figure-hugging dress of a fuzzy material.
In Nary's online shop they make mention of their style being part of the Korean-wave in Japan (or are trying to be part of it). I used to find Ageha and Korean-wave hard to unite but if this pushes through, that's definetly a change I can live with (let me note this seems quite unlikely).
To put it off against some of the usual stuff we see in Ageha (01-2012 issue, scan from vvshu):
I deliberately chose this example because, like Nary, these are supposed to be body-conscious dresses.
Regardless of whether either adds are edited or un-edited and if these women really have these figures, what shape would you prefer?
We know how much weight and body-shape counts in the world of gyaru. Even though gyaru-fashion ought to distinguish itself by being sexy, it promotes a body shape that is flat and childish. (Hence why sexy items from Ma*rs and D.I.A. have a different effect on a more curvy, western body). The preference for a childish body shape has been interpretted by Kinsella as a collective trend to prefer a childish appearance. If I remember correctly she writes that this refers to the time of youth in which a person is dependent and has no responsibilities yet (to summarise it a bit simplisticly: escapism from the pressure of reality). This isn't an absolute statement and I've simplified it all a bit, please don't hold it against me but I just wanna make it easy to grasp.
I don't know if this is true and whether genetic potential hasn't got anything to do with it, but the effect of the diets gyaru-models hang on to, does, in my opinion, lead to a body that denies mature female sexuality.
The S-line (that seems to be product of selected workouts, not just a diet) is deliberately sexual, and there's something to say for avoiding that kind of portrayal of the female body: not all women have curves and we definetly don't need to cultivate curves for someone-else's viewing pleasure.
Many items that have been typical to gyaru and agejo style, like babydolls and balloon dresses, eliminate any hint of curve alltogether and being able to pull those pieces off well can really work in your advantage in achieving an 'accepted' gyaru-look. In that way we're all influenced by a rather sexless body-image. And in that way, the items Nary promotes don't fit in my personal current image of gyaru at all.
Tell me what you prefer! Because of course the gyaru body also has it's charm and I may have been a little harsh about it in this post but there's a reason we love gyaru and it's silhouette.
And tell me whether you agree with me at all! I'd like to know different opinions and I'd love to be convinced that gyaru actually is sexy. Think of AV-gyaru, they are really sexy and undoubtably gyaru. How does it work?