A History of Racism in Fashion

Japan's Ganguro Girls

Year: 1999

Japan's like a one-stop shop for oddball subculture, and Ganguro delivers. Popular in the late '90s, this trend saw women tanning obsessively and going so far as to apply foundation intended for dark-skinned women on top of that. The name Ganguro literally translates to "black face" or "charbroiled face" and while origins of the trend remain a mystery, some theorize that it actually originated from Japanese girls fanning out over their favorite African-American actresses and singers. The trend died down after a few years and many of the tanning salons—one of them named Blacky—that sprung up in Tokyo to service the needs of the Ganguro were shut down soon after.

Tags: fashion, racism
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