blue comp

With a new school year comes new students, new possibilities, and a new round of beauty competitions.

“Wait,” you’re asking, “Beauty competitions? Shouldn’t that be ‘roommates’ or ‘textbooks’ or ‘professors?'” And, yes, those are just a few of the new experiences that come with starting college, but thanks to New Face Grand Prix, new Japanese female college students can also “compete” to be the cutest freshman in Japan.


While some might say that we should be encouraging young women to study hard and have as many new, exciting experiences as possible, New Face Grand Prix has other ideas for freshman women. The competition, which allows people to vote for their favorite participants multiple times online, runs until the end of June and culminates with two women being awarded exclusive modeling contracts with fashion magazines. Full-ride scholarships seem like they would have been more appropriate, but what do we know about beauty competitions? (Aside from the fact that Mr. Sato would win them all.)

In addition to posting photos of themselves, the participants are put into two groups: Red and blue, with the red group being women with a “conservative” style and the blue group being women with a “Harajuku” style. The ultimate winner is selected from the top woman in each group, based on a slew of criteria including online votes, evaluation by the magazine editorial team, and the number of pageviews on their Simplog account. Oddly enough, they seem to have forgotten “academic excellence.” We’re sure they’ll be adding that to the website tomorrow!

▼Conservative style group

red comp

Simplog, in case you’ve never heard of it, is a new “simple blog” platform created by Ameba, Japan’s blogging platform somewhat similar to Live Journal. Simplog, which allows users to update their Facebook and Ameba accounts simultaneously with each post, looks like a mash-up of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with an emphasis on ease of use from smartphones. Why the world needs another social networking site, we can’t tell you, but the site certainly has some famous users, like Kanna Hashimoto.

▼Harajuku style group

blue comp

While the top winners will obviously get the best contract, there are contracts available for other participants as well, with the top-ranked women from each group also getting modeling work. In addition to posing for fashion magazines, they will also get opportunities to model for cosmetic and fashion advertisements. It’s not exactly tuition for four years, but every little bit helps when you’re trying to pay for college, we suppose.

So far, photos have been uploaded for three of the four geographic areas (Kanto, Kansai, Chubu, and Kyushu) represented in the competition. If you’re interested in voting for one (or more) of the participants, you can browse photos and find links to their Simplog profiles here. It’s Japanese only, but the pink button under each profile is the “vote” button. You can apparently vote for multiple participants, but you can cast only one vote for each woman per day. So if you happen to think one of these model hopefuls really deserves to win, be sure to go back every day to cast more votes. Maybe you can even ask them for help with your Japanese homework on Simplog!

Sources: New Face Grand Prix, R25, Simplog
Images: New Face Grand Prix

And, in case you’re curious, the winners of 2013’s New Face Grand Prix are pictured below.

2013 win