The 2014’s Face That We Want – Welcome Back Keiko Kitagawa
It’s been four and a half years since “Biteki’s” first issue in June of 2010, and this is her first time joining us again since then. Winning first place in the “Best Cosmetics Face of 2014” competition, she’s back again after a long absence! She’s been starring in many movies, and appearing at many public events to promote her various roles in dramas; one of our most beautiful, “now”, icons!
Keiko’s Face: “People who are themselves are beautiful. Confidence is gained with age.”
“It became a complex, wanting to like my own face.”
Returning my gaze, she gives me a benevolent expression. “You’re as beautiful as you believe you are”, Ms. Kitagawa says, with a thoughtful expression on her face. “What I learned when I was modelling, and through portraying various roles on stage, is that you have to have confidence; you can’t hide and be someone else to be truly beautiful. Having nice clothes and makeup doesn’t matter if you don’t have a strong personality. Youth fades, and as you get older you become more grounded and more aware of your self-confidence. I want to cherish the person I know I am inside.”
“I used to think that I looked really stuck up, and that my lips were too full…honestly, I’ve always had a complex about the way my face looks. But now I think, ‘I really love my face!’ And that’s a motto I try to stick to. In the morning, I wash my face with water, and use some moisturizing lotion. Then I do my makeup; I don’t paint on big eyebrows or anything drastic. I use a bit of concealer and brown eye shadow. I like to keep my face natural and simple; I don’t go for an overly-decorated or a rigid skin care routine.”
“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more self-aware, and also more self-confident. I try not to let old thoughts and old bad habits clutter my lifestyle, and I like to live simply. And I think making those changes has improved my self-confidence even more.”
Maybe these are the reasons she was selected as our “most beautiful face” competition winner; her confidence shines through.
“I’m really happy that I won the ‘most beautiful face’ competition. I’m shocked that so many people think that my face is the most beautiful, but I think my winning is thanks to having taken care of my hair and makeup…and it’s also thanks to everyone who voted for me, of course! I’m surprised that so many women along with men voted for me as well. That makes my win even more satisfying!”
Keiko’s Body: “What is even more important than a woman’s beauty, or what people think of it, is a woman’s health.”
“A well-balanced diet and exercise. How I made adjustments to my lifestyle.”
“One of the best changes I made is that I bought a nice little rice cooker,” she says, with laughing eyes. “I’ve been cooking a lot for myself recently, and have been eating a really balanced diet. I bought a really good kitchen knife and cutting board – so I’ve got a lot of control over the food I eat.”
She eats well; she says she eats 6 meals in a day. Her favorite food is grilled meat that is still slightly pink in the center. She eats a balanced diet with few carbohydrates. She also follows an exercise regimen, and spends 30~40 minutes a day in the gym at the step machine or going jogging, as well as doing stretches before taking her nightly bath. “That’s the secret of my life,” she says, adding, “I really enjoy my work – my work, essentially, is how I have fun. But when I went to Thailand, I realized that I needed to do more to improve my health. Although I’d love to have an eternally glamorous and feminine body like Scarlett Johansen’s, right now my focus is just on good health,” she says, laughing.
Hanging from Ms. Kitagawa’s wrist is a tiny charm, a reminder to her to take care of her body.
Keiko’s Heart: “If your heart and mind are healthy, the rest will fall into place. For the first time, I began to be an actress who believed in herself.”
“I think that I’ve become more and more myself over the years. I hope one day I’ll get to take on a role as a mother character as I get older.”
2014 was “a fulfilling year” says Ms. Kitagawa. Because she was able to control her physical condition and because she had her confidence under control, she says she was able to spear straight ahead without any regrets. As a result, she was able to land roles in a number of hit movies and drama series.
“I noticed that ever since I started to take care of my health, I’ve become much more mindful. This year, I made a big effort to not just work all the time; I’ve been going out to watch Takarazuka shows etc. I love my work, but there’s time that I set aside just for going out and having fun. Otherwise, I noticed that without my ‘me’ time I can’t perform as well. So it’s really an all-around investment.”
She’s unyielding and forward-looking, and that’s a good thing. This year she’ll be playing a number of roles. “The roles I’m portraying are like looking at myself in the mirror”, she says.
“I think now I play roles that are more like myself than ever before. I love playing all the roles I am currently cast for, but I’m looking forward to the time when I get to begin playing motherly-roles!”
In two years she’ll be 30 years old. She has some thoughts about this upcoming stage in her life:
“Many of the women in my generation begin getting married and having babies in their 30s, so there’s a lot more opportunity for me in terms of roles with that background. But I won’t let myself get type-cast; I also want to have fun exploring new and challenging roles. I’m looking ahead to the future with confidence.”