Usually being called a witch is an insult, but a Japanese beauty magazine reclaimed the word a few years ago and declared a new category of woman: “Beautiful Witches.” To celebrate the women over 35 that possess an almost “magical beauty untouched by age,” the fourth annual National Beautiful Witch Contest was held last week, with a 39-year-old housewife from Aichi Prefecture taking home the top prize in a Halloween-themed pageant.
The Japanese magazine Bisuto coined the phrase “Beautiful Witch” in 2009 to bring attention to the fashionable women over 35 whose might feel overshadowed by younger models and the preference for youth in the industry. The pageant started soon after and the concept of “ageless beauty” has caught on. Every year, the magazine holds a nationwide search to find who can serve up the best spell-casting middle-age realness.
Despite describing herself as a “normal housewife,” Mayumi Nishimura came out ahead of the 19 other finalists and 2,400 applicants, many of which were professional models. The judges said that the “B85-W64-H89” woman stole the stage with her big smile and cheerful disposition as she sashayed down the runway.
Nishimura said that to keep in shape, she puts on a DVD from the K-pop group Girls’ Generation and dances a long at least twice a week, despite her husband’s embarrassment. The home cook also keeps a balanced diet and stays away from carbs, especially during late-night meals with her husband who often works late.
▼ Nishimura accepts a bottle of champagne from last year’s winner, Reiko Monma
Take a look at the video below to see the other finalists work the catwalk!