Peer pressure of "Not standing out."
Convincing yourself, "This is the type of person I am."
Stereotypes of "Being feminine, being masculine."
It's okay to break free from the various "cages of preconceptions" to enjoy freedom.
To love yourself more and not for anyone else.
Yes, KATE believes.
KATE makes up individual styles and even that person's way of life.
For you, who seeks to express yourself the way you want.
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Rina Fukushi, whose striking gaze gives off a sense of unshakeable strength of will, made her Paris Collection debut at the age of 17. She is one of Japan's leading models with her solid catwalk on the runway and her overwhelming presence. But despite her unruffled impression, she shared an unexpected side of herself, commenting, "I'm too serious, or rather, I'm timid, and I sometimes get scared." She recalls this personality had significantly impacted her work sometimes. "When I first started modeling, there was a phase when I got stuck into a pattern for posing and such, thinking 'this is how it should be'." Unable to break away from preestablished notions of modeling, she could only express herself in a rut. "I didn't know if a different expression or new way of moving was right, and I was too anxious to try. Maybe I was feeling stable in expressing what I had seen and done."
She previously held herself back from breaking out of the mold due to her serious disposition, but as she built more experience in different countries, she came to believe that "I can be myself before I am a model." "I came to feel more at ease. Since then, when I feel my expressions are somewhat monotonous or boring, I start searching for different ways to express myself. Now I am able to enjoy the image that the staff creates for me at each project. That was the moment I shattered the rules possessing me."
For Fukushi, the word "change" sounds positive, but also brings her a bit of anxiety. "Making a slight change from a situation that you are familiar with means accepting something new and going in a direction that you don't know, so I feel like the word 'change' is a mixture of fun and anxiety at the same time." Even so, she withstood that anxiety and never gave up on moving forward, which brings her to where she is today. She is at a loss at times when she hears or sees thoughtless words about her. "I think I do care about what others think of me, and it depresses me when I hear such words. When that happens, I try to face it with a positive mindset and tell myself, 'These feelings will make me stronger, and enable me to understand the feelings of others'."
She says that what makes her unique is "the strength of feeling that experiences, whether laughing, getting angry, or crying because of pain, will all be on my side." Having tried many different types of makeup at work, she says no one experience is the same and that she always senses potential. "I hope makeup will become a way to bring out new aspects and characters of yourself, and not be just about what looks good or doesn't look good on you. I also want to be honest with my mood for the day and wear makeup that brings me closer to the character I want to be."
PROFILE / Rina Fukushi
From Tokyo, works for IPSILON Instagram: @RINAO127
With roots in Japan, the U.S., Spain, and the Philippines, Rina Fukushi is known for her unique ambience and is a global fashion model who constantly receives offers from international media.
She has appeared in a wide range of fields, from beauty to high fashion, both in Japan and internationally, with her keen sensibility always garnering significant attention.
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"Beauty is confidence. No matter how much people around you praise your looks on the outside, if you don't feel it and don't have confidence in yourself, it becomes a waste." That's what Amity Miyabi, a model and illustrator, told us. It has been a long road for Amity, who considers herself non-binary, to gain confidence. "I have struggled with my sexuality and gender identity since I was a child, and felt alienated at school and at home, making me think of myself as weird. My birth sex is female, and since I came out as transgender when I was a student, I sometimes wore masculine clothes to hide my body, even if they were clothes that I didn't like or were not stylish, so people would believe me. I was not able to enjoy fashion at all. After graduating from high school and moving to Japan to live by myself, I was able to celebrate fashion and makeup and finally realize I am non-binary. I now no longer care whether I am seen as a man or a woman, am confident in myself and enjoy various styles as I wish."
What Amity hopes to break down going forward are the rules formed from preconceptions. "I am sometimes disappointed when I hear preconceived notions about a person, such as, 'That person's from this country, so he must be this way,' or 'She's only this age, so she must be this way.' Although Japan has been changing lately, I still think it needs to become more diverse and progressive." Although Amity used to have to pretend she wasn't interested in makeup even though she loved it, she appears to be more radiant as she is able to try makeup without restrictions. "Makeup is not for hiding yourself, but rather, it allows you to be yourself in many ways. People who think they look cool wearing makeup are undefeatable."
PROFILE / Amity
Born in the US in 2001, she came to Japan at the age of 18 and started her modeling career at the same time. She is currently a model and illustrator.
She has announced she is non-binary. Amity is active in multiple fields, including interviews and YouTube dialogues, in order to deepen understanding of society on the diverse sexualities.
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A dancer, actor, and model, Shiryu Sejima has turned his thin figure that he disliked into his strongest weapon. He started dancing at the age of six, but with a slim frame, "I always thought that I was lacking in terms of powerful 'manly' dancing." What changed this was his encounter with his teacher, Koharu Sugawara. "Thanks to Koharu Sugawara, I was able to find my current dance style, which takes advantage of my slim figure and shows off my body lines. She taught me to think outside the box, enjoy freedom and not be bound by the rules. I think that social norms and peer pressure have taken strong root culturally, especially in Japan. But conversely, I feel that we can change things little by little from here. For example, I don't like to wear the same clothes as other people (laughs), so it would be great if I could color the town with fashion in my taste."
In a world where it is difficult to love oneself due to social pressures and information overload, Sejima feels that it is necessary to do so. "If you don't love yourself, you won't even be able to recognize the people who love you. And in order to love yourself, I think it's important not to look away from the things you don't like about yourself." Sejima usually enjoys a natural look, but when wearing makeup for work, he is excited to see the steps that takes him closer to perfection. "My personality changes with the makeup and clothes I wear, which in turn changes the way I dance. So as I do my makeup, I start to see what I want to express. And I find that to be very fun. I would like to continue wearing makeup that will make my unique performances as an expressive artist stronger, more beautiful, and further unique. You create the person you want to be! I'm going to keep sticking out from the norm."
PROFILE / shiryu sejima
Born in Tokyo in 2001, Shiryu Sejima also models and acts while working as a dancer and choreographer.
He is currently enrolled in the School of Human Sciences at Waseda University.
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"People who gladly accept changes appear to be shining more." A celebrity and model as well a girl band member, SHONO is not afraid of change. For her, change and challenge are intertwined. "I can take on any challenge and enjoy even the most difficult situations. I think my beauty lies in the fact that I can take on difficult situations with a smile, like, 'I can handle it!'" Since childhood, she questioned how people would react to her being absorbed in what they call "boyish" hobbies. "I've always loved watching sports, especially soccer, and am always watching sports." I also wanted to work as a scaffolding builder, and I went to a technical high school and got a welding certification. Because of this environment, I had very few girl friends, and sometimes people would say things like, 'You're just trying to be popular with guys, aren't you?' I myself have always wondered why girls are not understood to be interested in welding and sports"
Even so, she continued being honest with herself and followed the path she sought. "What I want to break down now is the stereotype and preconception that 'being in a band at that age is a hobby, it's too late, you won't sell.' Being older does not mean you do not have opportunities, and I believe change and opportunities can come to you any time. I want to keep playing drums until I achieve a sense of accomplishment that would make me say, 'I've done it all.' And speaking of preconceptions, I was labeled as someone who looks good with cool-toned colors when it comes to makeup, but most of my favorite colors are warm-toned. That's why I try to prioritize my preferences rather than what looks or does not look good on me. To become a woman brimming with self-confidence, I want to wear makeup that shines with my favorite colors and lots of shimmer, just the way I like it."
PROFILE / SHONO
A multi-talented person who is a soccer celebrity in FIFA-related fields, and is also a drummer and model.
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