Every year, the prettiest student at Komaba High School, in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward, is crowned the winner of their annual beauty pageant. That doesn’t sound so odd, but here’s the catch – it’s an all-boys institution so the title of ‘Miss Komaba High School’ actually goes to a boy!
The pageant is a part of ‘Culture Day’ festivities held in schools across Japan around this time of year. The festival happens over a three-day weekend, with art installations, music recitals, movie screenings, and even haunted houses on display at every school. And for the past few years, Komaba High School has also included a one-of-a-kind beauty contest for boys. Students style their hair, don wigs and makeup, and slip into skirts for the contest, and they’re all judged on how well they can pull off the ‘cute girl’ look and attitude.
Some of these male contestants look so convincingly feminine that they could give any female model a run for her money. They’re impeccably dressed in lovely girls’ outfits with matching accessories and they even manage to throw in a few coy smiles to win over the judges. The pageant has its own Twitter page where photographs of this year’s contestants are shared and votes are solicited.
As it turns out, Komaba High is one of the most reputed prep schools in Tokyo. Founded in 1950, the school was recently designated by the Ministry of Education as a ‘super science high school’. A large number of its students are accepted into the prestigious Tokyo University each year. Students participate in a wide variety of interesting extracurricular activities, but at the end of the day, they’re all a bunch of teenage boys with raging hormones and no real contact with girls on a daily basis. So they use the annual Culture Festival as an excuse to doll up and showcase their own feminine side.
It seems that cross dressing beauty pageants are actually quite popular among Japan’s youth, with Tokyo Institute of Technology recently crowning their very own Mister Bishoujo (Mister Beautiful Girl). And why shouldn’t they, given how cute some of these boys look!