ganguro – japanese fashion trend of black make-up

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Ganguro, literally “face-black,” is a fashion trend among Japanese girls, an outgrowth of chapatsu hair dyeing. The basic look is bleached-blond hair and a deep tan, produced by tanning beds or makeup. The intent is to produce the tanned, blond California beach girl look or a black woman. Accessories include high platform shoes or boots, purikura photo stickers, and cellular phones.

The Shibuya and Ikebukuro districts of Tokyo are the center of ganguro fashion. It goes against the grain of the usual Japanese standard of female beauty, which calls for skin as white as possible. The roots of the trend are said to be in the mid-1990s, starting with a popular tanned Okinawan singer named Amuro Namie and black British fashion model Naomi Campbell.

Some sources say that the “gan” syllable in ganguro is actually from the term “gan-gan”, a vulgar emphasis word somewhat like the British use of “bloody.”

Ganguro taken to the next level is called yamanba. The Gothic lolita style can be seen as a counter-reaction to ganguro style.

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