lifestyle

Japanese beauty pageant for women over 35 crowns winner

23 Comments
By Casey Baseel

While respect for the elderly and admiration of the experienced are both parts of Japanese culture, when it comes to ideals of fashion and human beauty, the country definitely puts a premium on youth. It’s not at all unusual for the careers of female models, actresses, and entertainers to have their career reach its zenith in their late teens or very early twenties, then disappear from the public eye altogether.

Since 2010, though, the Bimajo Contest beauty pageant has been challenging the idea that if you’re old enough to have graduated from college you’re just about too old to be considered beautiful. Each year assembles a field of attractive women in their late 30s and 40s, and this month the pageant crowned its newest winner.

Bimajo literally translates as “beautiful witch,” but “beautiful enchantress” would be the better English equivalent for who the contest is looking for. Sponsored by Bist, a fashion magazine for women around the age of 40, this year’s Bimajo Contest was held at the Toranomon Hills Forum in Tokyo.

1,850 applicants answered the call for “women over 35 with a radiance that belies their age.” 21 finalists were selected by the organizers, with the winner being chosen from a combined score based on votes from the audience, online voting, and the evaluations of a panel of seven judges for events including swimsuit and evening wear modeling, plus the poise shown by the finalists as they addressed those in attendance.

When the final scores were calculated, the winner of the fifth Bimajo Contest was Kumi Minowa.

The 43-year-old Tokyo native and former model lists golf, surfing, and studying to be a honey sommelier among her hobbies. A mother of three, Minowa says she kept her entry into this year’s Bimajo Contest a secret from her children. “They’ll probably be really surprised if they see me on the news,” she said, adding that she felt bad for not having been able to do all she usually does for her family while preparing for the pageant.

Minowa cites actress and singer Mari Natsuki, who’s remained active as an entertainer into her 60s, as an inspiration. “I admire [the way she] doesn’t worry about her age, but is always joyful and energetic.”

Minowa is going to get more than just five minutes of fame for her win, as part of the prize she received is a contract with talent agency Oscar Productions. “I’d like to take on as many projects as they can find for me,” she said, because really, 43 is still way too young to start taking it easy.

Source: Naver Matome

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23 Comments
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Kumi is beautiful in this photo!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

43? Looks younger for sure. Photo-shop? I hope not.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No just good make-up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Very beautiful! In my country there are girls half her age that look twice her age.:-))

3 ( +6 / -3 )

That picture is probably a combination of both makeup and photoshop. But that said, I'm sure she's still nice looking - she's got nice features and a nice smile.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Bimajo... I love you so much!

Japanese mature women are my favorite women on earth...

Sexy, funny, tough, know what they want... but still cute!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Smoking hot 43 year old. I absolutely endorse the selection.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Kumi is a beauty all right, but wasn't Ryoko Yonekura an applicant in this contest?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bimajo literally translates as “beautiful witch,” but “beautiful enchantress” would be the better English equivalent for who the contest is looking -

Well thats a relief, after all green complexion, dentally challenged, the crocked nose topped with hairy wart not to mention protruding bottom lip could put a downer on the event.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Very beautiful! In my country there are girls half her age that look twice her age.:-)) In Japan faces such as this one, and Hello Kitty, and people's bodies have continuity and longevity, whereas narratives, theories, phrases, and words are fly by night fads. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nihonbunka/16115910701/in/photostream

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Since 2010, though, the Bimajo Contest beauty pageant has been challenging the idea that if you’re old enough to have graduated from college you’re just about too old to be considered beautiful."

Sorry, but if they need to set up a separate pageant based on age they are not challenging the idea, they are reenforcing it. If they really want to challenge the idea, they should be pushing these 'older' ladies to enter the 'younger' pageants, and society to embrace it. And I agree with those above that these women are absolutely beautiful.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

No photoshop going on here. She looks exactly as she does in the TV news spots covering this. I think she's gorgeous!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not bad but I've seen 50 year old ladies in Japan who look great.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese women look super young for their age. I really cannot tell the difference between 25 and 45 in a lot of cases. They all seem to maintain a great complexion and figure for a long time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

She is beautiful, but I'm hoping for the over 50 type myself. Got to be a realist....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hard to believe beauty Hitomi Kuroki is 54...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

She is Beautiful, I'm in Love, You want an American Husband? Hehehehehe Gorgeous! I'm Serious!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Long live the older woman!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The notion that women in late 30's and early 40's are somehow past it is so Japan. This competition proves it wrong (although let's not lose sight of the fact it is still a beauty competition - kind of meat market.....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think 35+ yo Japanese women are great.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

She looked amazing in her bathing suit. Actually there were many great contestants in this pageant. I think it will be better next year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese women look super young for their age. I really cannot tell the difference between 25 and 45 in a lot of cases. They all seem to maintain a great complexion and figure for a long time.

That's because they avoid the sun like the plague which is the No 1 cause of ageing!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sugoi Kawaii

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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