Kogyaru Moms?!

20Dec07

Typical gyarus in Shibuya.

An interesting article in the Japan Times writes about what happens to kogyaru (or sometimes kogal) after the party ends– basically when they become mothers.  Not surprisingly, the picture isn’t pretty.

If you’re wondering what a kogyaru is, see this Wikipedia article exhaustively discussing this interesting Japanese subculture.  You can also check out all the different varieties of gyaru or “gal” culture at this wiki.

Back to the article: The Japan Times article is sad and dark.  Many of these kogyaru were physically abused as children or simply neglected, and so they repeat this vicious cycle by doing the same to their own children.  One woman in the article beats her children because she thought that what parents are supposed to do.

Another paints the nails of her first-grade daughter and lets her nails grow so long that she can’t hold a pencil.  When the schoolteachers complain that she can’t write and do schoolwork, the mother says that writing with a pencil isn’t important because people type on computers and cellphones now, and she said it was more important to develop the child’s fashion sense early on. The Japan Times writer called the opinion “pre-feminist” but I’m not so sure what to call this other than ignorant.

Just like an expensive Versace  purse, kogyarus treat their children like fashion accessories, as they do their dogs for that matter(topic for another time), and enjoy dressing them up and parading them around publicly, whether or not this is good for the child or if people approve.  They don’t seem to understand that there are serious responsibilities attached to having a child.  One mother watched porn she had starred in with her 5 year old son.  The article’s amazingly shocking.

I don’t know how much of the article’s true.  It’s a translation from one of the weekly papers in Japan, which are often filled with scintilating scandals that sound almost too juicy to be true, and may be fabricated to grab readers’ attention and sells papers, but on the other hand, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if it all was true.  Sad.

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3 Responses to “Kogyaru Moms?!”

  1. 1 ko

    Stereotypes………

  2. 2 neeta

    Hello. I read the above article and found it interesting. I have not read the original article you are quoting. I wonder if the majority of kogyaru would become sad mothers. I do not know whether the kogarus interviewed were sad people or left sad accounts. I presume that there are many kogyarus or so defined kogyarus in Japan so I suspect some would grow out of kogyaru phase and become something else. It seems a bit stereotypical and over generalised reporting on a vast number of the Kogyaru underlying a bit of moral panic from the writer. I do not know how many of kogyaru was abused in their childhood. The case studies are rather sad but how can it be said as the problematic adulthood of Japanese Kogyaru?

    I have been staying in the UK for nine months. Via media, I have heard similar mothers-daughters exist in the UK and it is not difficult to find such children or adult in my locality. The media in the UK frequently broadcast irresponsible parenting or unruly children and the audience feels pretty sick and wonders about bleaker future of the already ‘miserable’ contemporary Britain. The media picks up seemingly deviant people to invoke morals of the readers but they do not talk about un-urban issues or nice people becuase it seems boring. So far, people in Britain and Japan cherish a consequence of affluence, technology, feminism, and advanced capitalism but they really do not start challenging the media which is quite biased and selective in showing their culture or phenomenon.

    Yours sincerely
    neeta

  3. O_O, oh my gosh, that is just terrible!!! Wow, that made me really sad! Gosh, I mean, I dress in Kogyaru a lot, but by no means would I EVER treat a child like that!!!!


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