We're aware that we live in a world of seriously offensive and sexist things, but the National Beautiful Witches Contest for the over-35s simply has to take the biscuit.
The contest, which took place in Tokyo last week, featured a category for women "over 35 that possess an almost magical beauty untouched by age".
Housewife Mayumi Nishimura, 39, won the prize, for her "cheerful disposition" reported Rocket News 24.
The news service reported: "Ishimura 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."
The two most depressing things to come out of it is that there were reportedly 2,400 applicants for the competition, and that evidently in Japan, 35 is considered an age when women need to start worrying about their looks because god forbid, they get a wrinkle.
Organisers of the competition may think they've gotten away with the approach of 'we're honouring women who may feel sidelined with the world's obsession with youth', but it's fooling no one.
HuffPost UK blogger and older model Alex B was more forgiving. ""Beautiful witches? There are nuances of Snow White's stepmother here and the underlying idea that there must be something somewhat evil with growing old and looking good: the term 'witch' is synonymous with the notion of a femme fatale, a bewitching ageless woman, by definition a wicked one. But overall I do not think such contests are particularly harmful and it's good to see that older women are being appreciated for their beauty, globally."
If they really wanted to celebrate ageing, or in fact make a point about the pressures women face in the race to look youthful, they would've picked someone who looks less like an ex-model and more like a normal human being. They certainly wouldn't have made said the contestants walk around in bikinis or tiny dresses.
We realise this is making HuffPost UK Lifestyle seem rather bah-humbug, but this does nothing to further the debate around ageing.
Furthermore, it ends up being written as a story on other websites who use cretinous headlines such as "Japan MILF Award: Housewife Wins Pageant for “Bewitching” Middle-Aged Beauties".
To prevent our ears from issuing with steam at the suggestion that 35 is middle-aged, we've decided to calm our nerves with the brilliant story of a teen with alopecia who ditched her wig and won the big prize.
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