A hime gyaru is a member of a fashion-conscious girls' subculture within Japan. Hime gyaru describes girls in their teen years and 20s who dress in an ultra-girly fashion, wearing lots of pink, ruffles, bows, lace, pearls, crowns, elaborate hairstyles and exaggerated eye makeup. Specific retailers market clothes to members of various gyaru subgroups, who tend to spend a lot of money on clothes. "Hime gyaru" literally means "princess girl."
Hime gyaru girls tend to wear exaggerated, poofy hair, often thanks to wigs or extensions. Big eyes are a crucial element of the hime gyaru look and are often achieved with the help of circular contact lenses. They tend to wear elaborate high heels decorated with bows, flowers and lace. They often wear heavy makeup and spend a lot of time tending to their hair and skin. Perfectly manicured and embellished nails are also part of the hime gyaru look.
The hime gyaru subculture hit its peak in the mid-2000s. Hime gyaru girls tend to speak in soft, ultra-feminine voices and often spend large amounts on fashion accessories. They tend to idolize women perceived as princesses, such as Paris Hilton or Marie Antoinette. Some sociologists theorize that hime gyaru girls are seeking to escape everyday stress and find a fairytale happy ending. Some nightclub hostesses also favor the hime gyaru look.