The curtains have been drawn at Beijing’s 36th annual Middle Age and Senior Modeling Contest, where older contestants strut their style on the catwalk and keep up with constantly evolving fashion trends.
About the event: The Middle Age and Senior Modeling Contest washeld in Beijing’s Chaoyang district on Saturday and livestreamed on Beijing News’ Weibo.
Around 2,000 participants — aged between 55 and 80 — reportedly registered for the contest and were divided into 62 teams, with 12 winning teams making it through the finals. Judges graded elements of the contestants’ performances during their catwalks, such as their choreography and costumes.
Why it matters: Chen Juanhong, one of the contest’s judges in 2021, noted that while there is a gap between the older and younger generations of models, it is still important to see the older population’s “mental outlook, healthy life attitude and understanding of fashion,” according to the Global Times.
Keeping up: Wu Di, a team leader and frequent contestant at the event, told reporters that she participates in the hopes that “middle-aged and elderly people can keep up with the times,” Reuters reported.
Happy and united: Another participant, Li Jianshe, 65, said the older population is “extremely marginalized” and on the “fringe of society,” adding that joining the event makes them feel happy and “united as a group.” He also noted that they get to have fun while exercising through daily training.
Population count: Last year, Beijing saw an increase in its older populations with individuals aged 60 and over. This 5.3% increase from 2021 was reportedly the highest increase recorded in five years.
The latest data came as China’s capital continues to see its population declining at the rate of -0.05 per 1,000 people for the first time since 2003, according to a report in March.
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