Aika Okita surprises everyone with a very different look offscreen.

On April 7, Japan’s Fuji TV revealed a new addition to the cast of their popular morning programme Mezamashi Saturday. Airing between 6:00 and 8:30 am. weekly, Mezamashi Saturday is a supplement for Fuji Tv’s weekday Mezamashi TV show, and contains news, sports, entertainment, fashion, and general roundup segments that appeal to a wide audience.

21-year-old Aika Okita, who hails from Miyazaki Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu, was the fresh new face joining the cast as their weather reporter, and since her appearance on TV just six months ago, fans around the country have welcomed her wholesome image and bubbly onscreen personality with open arms.

▼ Come rain or shine, Okita delivers the weather report with a smile.

Proving she’s committed to her job, Okita has been sharing photos on her Instagram account, where she posts weather updates to over 37.5 thousand followers, along with images taken from her broadcasts.

“The intense heat is continuing, so please be careful of heatstroke.”

“Heavy rain is continuing, so everybody please take care.”

While Okita has been charming audiences with her feminine outfits and professional appearances on weekend television, she’s actually pretty busy on weekdays too, as fans are now discovering that the weather woman has another occupation that takes up much of her time.

“I bought this skirt four days ago. I’m going to a yakiniku restaurant now so I’m super casual. When I go to uni, I look like this.”

That’s right — Okita is actually a university student, currently enrolled at the Department of Applied Chemistry at Meiji University. And while much of her Instagram feed is filled with images of her looking like a carefully styled weather woman, people were intrigued by this picture of Okita, which showed a whole different side to her onscreen persona.

“Wow – I’ve never seen her look like this!”
“She looks like a high school student!”
“This looks like a totally different person.”
“Such a gap between TV and real-life!”
“I like that she’s different on and off air.”
“Clothes really do have the ability to change your impression of a person.”

Japan often comes under the spotlight for society’s preoccupation with looks and traditional appearance-based stereotypes, so it’s refreshing to see Okita confidently sharing the reality of her life with her fans.

Okita’s casual photo is a pleasant reminder that even polished professionals look different in real life, and it’s heartening to know that Mezamashi Saturday and Fuji TV aren’t attempting to control her image and keep her to an unrealistic standard by censoring her off-duty photos.

Hopefully management in the idol world will one day follow this example too so their stars can feel free to open up about their personal lives as well.

Featured image: Instagram/okita_aika
[ Read in Japanese ]