In patriarchal 1960s Japan, Tomoko Horino’s neighbors teased her when she first started working, but at 100 years old, the world’s oldest beauty advisor is now laughing.
“It was a time when married women stayed home and only did housekeeping, but I had to work,” Horino told AFP after officially being crowned by Guinness World Records.
Others in the eastern town of Fukushima saw her leaving the house in full make-up and thought she was working in a hostess bar.
“What kind of a bar hostess leaves as the sun rises and comes home as the sun sets?” she laughed.
Horino, who was born in 1923—the year of the Great Kanto Earthquake in Japan—married a local government official and was supposed to stay at home.
“It was a mistake to be married to my husband,” she said, recalling the man she lived with until his death 16 years ago.
“He grew up in a very wealthy family and didn’t care about spending money,” she said. “He would take his colleagues out for wining and dining on the day he got his salary and use it all up.”
Horino worked as a present box assembler on the side to help support his family of three.
She began working for the cosmetics business Pola at the age of 39. She went door to door in high heels, a look she maintained for 41 years, selling face creams and makeup and providing clients beauty advice.
“When my husband was making a salary of 10,000 yen, I was making three times more. I worked very hard,” she said.