Remove masks, celebrate freedom: fashion grannies return to Beijing street ‘catwalk’
By Reuters Editorial | 13 August 2020
BEIJING (Reuters) – Four famous amateur model grandmothers took off their masks during a saunter down the streets of Beijing on Thursday to demonstrate life returning to normal as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.
Glamma Beijing, a group of four women who met during a modelling training course after retiring 20 years ago, became an internet sensation in China last year.
A 15-second video of them walking in Sanlitun, one of Beijing’s busiest shopping districts, wearing traditional qipao dresses and over-sized dangling fringe earrings, was viewed more than 50 million times in a day, according to local media.
Since then, Lin Wei, Wang Xinghuo, Sun Yang and Wang Nianwen, all aged over 60, have enjoyed dressing up and performing in videos on short-video platform Douyin for likes.
“Your life is grey if you are always afraid of ageing and death,” said Lin Wei, 64, explaining her philosophy on growing older and enthusiasm for donning stylish clothes and makeup.
“You are old, you have wrinkles, you don’t have too much energy, or your figure becomes baggy. But this is something you can’t go against, so you need to face it with positivity.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the group had to stay indoors, they reverted to creating videos about their lifestyle. They now have more than a million followers on Douyin.
On Thursday, the stylish grannies, as they call themselves in Mandarin, turned heads as they walked in figure-hugging qipaos down a street like a catwalk, in Beijing’s central business district of Guomao.
“Beauty is in all ages,” said Liu Jing, a passer-by. “You can be young and stylish, or feminine. And you can also be elegant just like these grannies.”
(Reporting by Fang Nanlin and Martin Quin Pollard; Writing by Karishma Singh; Editing by Philippa Fletcher)