Gyaru, Ganguro and the Western Gaze

Kinsella believes the root of ganguro-loathing exists in the racist underpinnings of Japanese society. She writes:

Commentary about the race, tribe, and skin color of girls, was sometimes entwined with a derogatory and pseudo-Darwinian commentary about dark-skinned girls, which implied that they were a kind of species or animal. Classified as dark-skinned primitives and animals, girls daring to wear black face and witch outfits sometimes became subject to a racist assault on their humanity.

While this may certainly have played a part in setting the parameters of the discussion, the girls deserve much more credit for having intentionally engineered the ganguro look to frighten off anyone not in gyaru circles. They may have unconsciously tapped into long-standing racial and skin color prejudices to settle on a darker skin, but their goal was extremity rather than racial reference itself.

David Marx, Néojaponisme

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