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Woman breaks beauty stereotypes to become model at 68: 'If you don't try, you'll never know'

Rosa Saito took the fashion industry by storm when she started working as a model at 68 years old and continues to wow everyone at the age of 71.

Woman breaks beauty stereotypes to become model at 68: 'If you don't try, you'll never know'
Cover Image Source: Instagram/@rosa.saito

Rosa Saito is embracing her age and proudly celebrating her beauty at the age of 71. Saito took the fashion industry by storm when she decided to start working as a model at 68 years old and continues to inspire at the age of 71 now. Born Setsuko Saito, Rosa has always been talented and passionate about the arts. She was born in Araçatuba, São Paulo, and had a creative upbringing. She took up singing, sketching and writing because she felt she was meant to work in the arts in some capacity. “I always knew I was going to pursue something creative, something I could invent. Everything I do I take to that side,” she told BrightSide.



Rosa, though, would take many, many years to reach the path to that destination. At 22, she had to be the caregiver for her bedridden mother for three years. Then, in 2000, she had to bid her husband farewell when he passed away in an untimely death, leaving her to raise their three children by herself. These are things that would break a person, but Rosa plowed on and found a new hobby to keep her going. Her enthusiasm for gardening kept her upbeat and it sustained her. “It is important to seek and find yourself. And my moment of peace is with them (plants). I go to my garden and talk to them,” she shared with Bored Panda.

Years went by, and it appeared like Rosa's life had been one well lived, but fate had other plans. Unexpectedly, experts in the fashion business approached her and asked her to model for them. “Twice it was by professionals from the Mega modeling agency and once by a photographer. I let the idea mature for a year, after all, it had costs too. It wasn’t something I was going to get into just like that, blindly,” she recalled.



She did not make a decision. She knew very little about the business, but then she did not want her apprehensions to crowd her mind. At 68, she decided to take the leap and soon found that it was her true calling. Even the São Paulo Fashion Week invited her! Her goal was never to be famous. “I only seek to do the best in what I embrace with love and to find myself. I thought: Be what God wants. If I don’t try, I’ll never know,” she told Estadão. Of course, when you are talented, fame follows. She has more than 45,000 Instagram followers today.

She was naturally thin and tall at 5 foot, 6 inches. She had a fairly natural upbringing. “It was all based on tea, and in my essence, I am like that, kind of against everything that is chemistry. So I always took care of myself with aloe, coconut oil, olive oil,” she said. She did, however, stress the need of being at peace with oneself. “The beauty itself is in really taking care of your thoughts, your spirituality. The person can become beautiful, captivating, and friendly. This is much more than the beauty all stretched and perfect. It’s the content that counts, in my opinion,” Rosa shared.



“Of course, as a woman, there are some things I’d like to change. We all do, but I’m not dissatisfied with myself. I feel beautiful”, she stated. “I don’t believe aging is the right word. I would say learning. I keep learning and I feel that the more I learn, the less I know. Although she finds the standards of the beauty industry to be oppressive, she thinks there is still hope. “I feel that slowly we are changing. People are living longer, taking care of themselves more and companies really need to open up more in that sense and visualize these potential customers.”


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