Ganguro (ガングロ) is an alternative fashion trend of blonde or orange hair and tanned skin among young Japanese women that peaked in popularity around the year 2000, but remains evident today. The Shibyua and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo are the centre of ganguro fashion.
Ganguro appeared as a new fashion style in Japan in the early 1990s and is prevalent mostly among young women and women in their early 20s to this date. In Ganguro fashion, a deep tan is combined with hair dyed in shades of orange to blonde, or a silver grey known as "high bleached". Black ink is used as eye-liner and white concealer is used as lipstick and eyeshadow. False eyelashes, plastic facial gems, and pearl powder are often added to this. Platform shoes and brightly-coloured outfits complete the Ganguro look. Also typical of ganguro fashion are tie-dyed sarongs, miniskirts, stickers, lots of bracelets, rings, and necklaces.
Ganguro falls into the larger subculture of gyaru, a slang term used for various groups of young women, usually referring to overly childish or rebellious girls. Researchers in the field of Japanese studies believe that Ganguro is a form of revenge against traditional Japanese society due to resentment of neglect, isolation, and constraint of Japanese society. This is their attempt at individuality, self-expression, and freedom, in open defiance of school standards and regulations. The deep Ganguro tan is in direct conflict with traditional Japanese ideas of feminine beauty. Due to this, as well as their use of slang, unconventional fashion sense, and perceived lack of hygiene, Ganguro gals are almost always portrayed negatively by the Japanese media.
Fashion magazines like Egg and Cawaii magazine have had a direct influence on the Ganguro. Other popular ganguro magazines include Popteen and Ego System. The Ganguro culture is often linked with Para Para, a Japanese dance style. However, most para para dancers are not Ganguro, and most Ganguro are not para para dancers, though there are many who are Ganguro or gal and dance para para.
One of the most famous early Ganguro girls was known as Buriteri. Egg made her a star by frequently featuring her in its pages during the height of the Ganguro craze. After modelling and advertising for the Shibuya tanning salon "Blacky", social pressure and negative press convinced Buriteri to retire from the Ganguro lifestyles.
The Ganguro style met it's end around the year 2000 to reasons unknown. Although most people tend to mix up the style with other Gyaru sub cultures, nobody really uses this fashion statement.
Similar styles you might see around today are: