First of all, a big thank you to those who commented on the bang post. Oh hell I love comments on any post, but I really appreciate your comments and critique. I promise to do better!! :sparkle2: My motto for myself is: I did great yesterday, I’ll do better today Because we need to be positive gals, getting fabulous and fearless together :hearts:
Also a big thank you to the super hot and talented pinksugarichigo, for the doll plug on her tumblr. Oh shucks it always warms my heart when people do unexpected kind things, I’m a giddy happy gal right now
I opened up my formspring again since I have the time again now. Curious? Ask at missmitsu
So back in Ask Anything #1, malignita asked for a really good topic (actually tons of good topics), and I’ve been writing this off and on since then. It’s a lot of text, but a lot of info…so enjoy :sparkle2:
Education & Work Opportunities: Practically speaking, what opportunities exist for girls who want to continue with gyaru style but go to school or have a career? Gals be ambitious!
Hmmm this is looking at the question from a very American standpoint. I think about it, too since I am fine with being with a man and working instead of letting him provide solely for me.
However, most women hope to quit their jobs for marriage, so it’s more common in Japan to look very short-sighted in terms of careers. This sentiment is changing a little with the movement for women to have an independent and happy time in their 20s and marry later.
But Tsubasa Masuwaka and Naoki Umeda decided waiting wasn’t such a good idea…
Within gal I don’t think that sentiment is as prevalent, especially with more getting knocked up it’s just not the case. Condom use is spare in Japan so getting knocked up is always a possibility. While abortions are very common Japan supposedly has the highest abortion rate of a ‘developed’ country, the US has the highest of a developed Western country so we’re not far behind (although the prevailing motivations in both countries are different read more about abortions and galmama hood here). I’ve heard men say to friends “I’ll marry you if you get pregnant, so honey let’s not use the condom”. It’s not just Tsubasa who gets pregnant, a 21 year old housewife here whose favorite websites to go to are hair and nail salons :sparkle2:
Of course it’s possible to be gal and go to college. A few go to my university and pull of gal wonderfully, and look even in 1999 this old-school gal was going to college and a more recent gal who shops at 109 buys AgeHa and is a college student. When I went to Keio University’s winter festival my friend and I ran into a gyaruo-sa who went to Keio. Keio is considered the second best university in Japan and 3 of the last 4 Prime Ministers graduated from Kieo. So you best have done a ton of studying in high school to have those kind of grades. However, when going around the festival I saw no gal ladies. Japan has risen up in gender equality surveys from last year, but honestly I still feel there is a similar mentality. Many women at Keio looked like Ebi-chans (Ebihara Yuri) who is considered the face of OL and many men’s ideals.
Everytime I’ve been to Keio campus I’ve seen the same type of girl. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t gal-types at higher universities. As a girl who plans on continuing to graduate school, there is absolutely nothing wrong with loving style and study at the same time.
However, many Japanese girls head into trade schools instead. These two-year colleges where they expect to come out as OL later and possibly work as secretaries or something similar. A few of my gal friends are currently in college doing this.
109 stores do not usually hire college students to work part-time. Gilfy mentions that it does not want college students, but a staff-chan I know who works at Cecil McBee is a college student.
College in Japan holds different expectations than European or American universities expect. In America we might laze around in high school and finally decide to work and challenge ourselves in college. Instead, the Japanese school system is different and once you past your choice of college’s exam and get accepted then you have it moderately easy in Japan.
I’d tell my Japanese friends I can’t do something because I had school the next day and they’re like…so? It’s JUST college.
College is also cheaper and more state subsidized in Japan so you don’t leave with a pile of debt (hello my life )
Blea has long been considered the gal college and highschool, and does happen to be located in Shibuya. Fashion, hair, nail and make-up courses are taught there. So they are teaching gal skills. However, BLEA girls do get a bad rap around Centaa-gai. A faction from the school are known for being the most out-there kogals. The blondest hair, the shortest skirts, the loosest socks; they have to have it all.
Seeing them in stores and around Centaagai with extremely older men it’s obvious there’s an amount of enjou kousai (or paid dating) between it. Whether it’s dates or pure prostitution who knows…
Other than BLEA there’s other beauty schools or deco schools to learn a gal trade such as deco, extensions, hair, or nails. Often these trade schools don’t expect a high school degree so some gals drop out early and go into these. BLEA is not the sole answer for fashion education.
Jobs without Education:
Freeters – On the side of streetsnaps you’ll often see a girl list freeter as her occupation. Even some girls who appear in magazines often and seem like they are part of the regular cast might list themselves as freeters. Daichi Tanaka before he got his designing gig kept saying he was a freeter even though he’s been quite popular in Men’s Egg for a long time. Freeter is simply someone who works a part time job or baito. They tend to do it for minimum wage and don’t consider the job as a career or rung of any job ladder. When people say they’re freeters they could work handing out tissues at train stations (a very common way of advertising in Japan), working in fast food or retail, working as an on-call model appearing in ‘street snaps’ or working in a call center or such. Freeter usually means any menial job they can get to meagerly support their alternative lifestyle.
Most freeters live with their parents and use their earnings for themselves while their parents are still feeding and housing them.
Soapland – Soapland is basically a brothel. The term “soapland” originally came from sexual masseuses who gave their clients a sponge bath with sexual undertones either ending in a handjob or blowjob. Now soapland refers to all sexual massage parlours, hooker joints, and sexual kyabakura places. Yoshiwara and Kabukicho both have these kinds of places in them for entertainment. Although they may be hookers many are pulling in good cash for this.
Some may be curious about stripclubs, and the fact of the matter is there are not many. When you can get much better “service” it’s hard to enjoy the blue-balling titllation of strippers. I always wondered how Japanese men tip strippers since 100yen and 500yen (around 1.5 and 6 dollars) are in change, so uhhh instead of “making it rain” you “make it hail”? OUCH~! Actually the men give bills (usually 1000 yen or $12.00 folded via chopsticks). Who knows maybe it’s another thing about how Japanese prefer to hand money over while not making contact with a person (i.e. all the money trays in Japan). :!:
Hostesses – Hostesses are women dressed in gowns looking like Barbie/princesses who exchange witty banter with their clients and occasionally go on paid-dates with their clients in order to receive brand goods in return. They work nighttime and often stay out late. Sex is not considered the end-game with female Hostesses although a woman may choose to. To say hostessing is an easy route is completely wrong. Most ex-hostesses talk about the wear on their body, and being near several during hairset appointments I did not feel they were looking healthy (i.e. tired skin, smokers cough, frailer than average bodies).
Two hostess clubs in Kobe.
Jobs with Education:
Hair/Nails/Facial aka the Este bunch: Most of these get into a beauty school which works in a similar way to American schools. After they graduate they work in the jillions of salons that powder Japan. In more populated areas you can pass a hair salon every 30 seconds of walking. Not to mention all the nail, facial, eyelash exte, hair exte salons that cater to all types of Japanese women. Egg Model Nonoka works at ISM body which is primarily a waxing salon. Many of these girls aren’t planning to do this for their life, just until they meet someone. Therefore staff in most of the este places are very young and managers even are quite young.
pictures from the esNail salon in Shibuya, other staff pics here.
Apparel: Apparel is often the pinnacle of a gal profession. Many gals really hope to get into this, you’ll notice many models will move into apparel. Egg’s Romihi, Men’s Egg’s Joy, Daichi, Umeshan and others… Apparel is pretty much working for a brand to decide looks, choose fabric etc… 109 brands do not sew their own clothes or such.
How 109 clothes come into the making is this: They get a set of materials that they can work with for their collection. Fabrics with prints, buttons, etc… that can help make a collection distinctive. Then they draw mock-ups, attach fabric samples and send the work to a Chinese factory. The factory sends a mock-up back and the design team in Japan makes choices on whether or not to alter it. Then they order a set amount and continue the design process. The whole back-and-forth happens very quickly and continuously so it needs a lot of staff. These staff are often trained by colleges (usually 2 year) to work specifically on apparel. It’s essentially a trade school.
Now to say that there are many gals in apparel isn’t exactly true. Most have graduated to onee-gyaru and enjoy celeb-kei or mix mid-range brands such as Marc by Marc, Tory Burch, and Burberry Blue Label with adult gal brands. Their hair isn’t the type you immediately associate with gal often, even at the DIA headquarters. It’s a bit more simplistic and often closer to black. Then again these girls have all probably had at least 4 years of dressing gal under their belts, which tends to make someone go more onee-gyaru or blend with higher priced items.
I’ve seen these types of girls often, because I lived close to many main apparel brands on my street, so on my way to pretty much anywhere I could look in or pass by these types of gals. Even though apparel is a coveted job, many of these gals do not go full out with their looks. Instead they prefer a more Japanese high-low style.
The main headquarters staff of Delyle, not very gal really…