Beauty from Japan. From our world to yours.
Boundaries of Age
The face of SHISEIDO 54 years ago is back in the spotlight again
Story by Malena Harbers
If anyone can challenge society’s stale views about women of a certain age, it's acclaimed Japanese actress Bibari Maeda. At 71, she’s still commanding roles on the silver screen in her native Japan and shining with a confidence that radiates a youthful, yet elegant energy, proving beauty evolves without an expiration date.
The Face of SHISEIDO
Born to an American father and Japanese mother, Bibari’s unique beauty propelled her to stardom at 18, when she became the face of SHISEIDO cosmetics. An advertising poster for the iconic Beauty Cake Foundation compact from 1966 featured a confident young Bibari, clad in a white bathing suit and cap. Seen around the country, it became a turning point for her career— and as a bold statement for SHISEIDO, as it challenged the modelling world’s narrow definition of beauty.
On the Silver Screen
Bibari went on to land roles in various Japanese films and is perhaps still best known for her portrayal of the orphaned island girl Saeko in the sci-fi flick Son of Godzilla (1967). She was also a keen singer and dancer, and performed onstage in musicals such as the Japanese production of A Chorus Line in 1979, and the Japanese versions of Gone with the Wind, West Side Story, Cabaret, Les Misérables and Mamma Mia!. Bibari also has had a long television movie career and is still acting today.
Breaking Beauty Boundaries
Despite her start in modelling—and the pressures to stay young and fresh that often come with the industry—Bibari has always approached getting older with a different perspective. She’s adamant that true beauty isn’t about striving for eternal youth; for her, growing older is about embracing the age that you are and enjoying the most free, creative and rewarding time of life.
Here she shares her honest and empowering view of how to embrace the passing years with true beauty and grace...
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Behind the scenes
Go behind the scenes of Bibari Maeda’s shoot with SHISEIDO