My absence is probably also the reason for the small amount of questions in the Q&A (Yet I still don't manage to answer in time :') yeahh~~) but here are the answers, I had fun answering these~~
Hi! I don't have a question, but I was watching the awards and saw you and thought "Wow she looks so much like this actress from the sherlock holmes movie!!" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Reilly
Aw thank you~~ :D She looks gorgeous and I can actually see the resemblance :D
Thank you so much ♥
2. Vieze Ed (Dirty Ed):
Wil je met me knikkeren? ;D (Wanna play marbles?)
You know I do ♥
3. Terry (Terry is actually a friend of mine from university :D I'm very glad she came to ask me questions XD)
Hi Charlotte! I think you may remember me, I'm also in your studies programme, although I'm still in 3rd year next year! ;)
Anyway I have some questions, although it's kind of embarrassing, I think? Hope it's okay!
Of course I remember you! And I don't think this is embarassing :D of course it's ok!!!
How would you describe your own gyaru style? What made you come to that particular style?
Well at the moment I'm completely at loss of where I'm going with my style. I've always identified with agejo style, which is basically a mix of sexy and cute in a sauce of gyaru and it can take various forms. That always worked out for me because even though it provided room to the elaborate and creative, it was still more casual than Hime style and generally wearable too. But at the moment I can't say that it's quite like that anymore. What seems to be left of that original agejo style, is only the elaborate and sweet, and the mature and casual aspect has been abolished and this is why it doesn't work out for me anymore. Agejo has been driven to the margin, while the casual components in gyaru became part of the mainstream. I don't regret calling myself agejo nonetheless, simply because even today most of my inspiration comes from ageha and in terms of definition, this would be enough to call me agejo :P
I think people shouldn't overclassify, we wear what we like and we might hang out with people in the same category, or not, it's not a matter of life and death, I hope?
If someone would want to 'become' gyaru, what would you say? Is there a strict boundary between gyaru and non-gyaru?
I'm afraid to confuse a lot of people by saying this but no. There is no boundary in the sense that modern day gyaru flows over into casual wear. There's a blurry region in the middle of which I can't distinguish anymore, who is part of a system in which they identify gyaru, and who is using the word gyaru to define any stylish young woman.
I think for an individual, becoming gyaru isn't changing yourself or your physical appearance, it's more like adding a layer to yourself or your visual representation. I'm gyaru and at the same time non-gyaru. I'm typing on this computer saying I'm gyaru while in reality, seeing me at this moment, noone would call me gyaru. However if I'd dress up to go out this weekend, some people might say I look unmistakably gyaru.
I do think for japanese gyaru this isn't actually that different anymore. For some gyaru, gyaru is a subcultural label which they can't escape, but for many gyaru it might also be a recreational activity. When you look at the popularity of wigs and hairpieces, these things enable girls to be gyaru temporarily, with not a single trace of their interest in gyaru style present the next moment, when they take off the makeup and wig etc~.
Devotion and identification with a shared system doesn't seem to be quite neccessary anymore~ This is also part of my thesis in case you wanna know :)
How do circles come into being, and how do you join?
Well I don't know how circles come or came into being in the case of Japan but I can imagine that in the days when circles were still major in Japan, they were really established for people to have a sense of belonging or mutual understanding and a larger base to organize events and take responsibility with. Now we have internet and in the case of Japan, gyaru is a relatively widespread fashion culture and events are organised through commercial instances so the need for circles is less.
In the case of HYPER, it was really just friends starting out and I can't imagine it being much different in the case of Japan. We wanted to create a united base to organise events and take responsibility with. I think at the moment we've grown a bit out of our own expectation and Rox and I aren't quite sure of how to manage our group yet, but we will be, and I think after we bond some more, maybe responsibility will be shared over more people than just Rox, who is without a doubt the most responsible member~
I think in the case of the west, circles can still be useful for that: Organising events and taking responsibility, so even though cir-culture isn't as strong anymore among Japanese gyaru, I would encourage devoted western gals to create circles for that purpose.
I don't know about joining circles in Japan but in the case of HYPER, we just like to meet many new people at the public meetings and when we've grown fond of our new friends and we open membership again, they can apply and will be admitted based on popular vote among the members~
We've been getting questions about membership from different sides lately but we just need some time to organise our internal structure before we open membership again. In the meantime, please get to know us and join in on the fun!
Speaking of fun, there's a gyaru/j-fashion picknick coming up in Utrecht. Please check out the FB page here.
People of different J-styles or people that are interested in gyaru style but don't dress as gyaru (or not yet, or are trying but are not sure) can join in too~~ We just wanna have fun and meet as many new people as possible so give the FB page a click!!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, although I know they are major questions and are pretty hard to answer... Ah, also, once your thesis is done, please let me read it? 楽しみにしています！ （＾ー＾）
Thank you for asking me these questions :D They were great fun to answer and after judgement I'll see if I can send the thesis to the people that might be interested~ :)
Thanx to all of you for reading and thank you for being patient while I study!
I won't make any promises anymore but as it is I'm supposed to really be done with school by this weekend~