Breakdancing glamorous granny wows Beijingers


Beijing, April 10:

Jin is 68, and a grandmother, but she does not look or behave like one. She is fashionable and well-groomed, enjoys spending her money on clothes and make-up, and is a picture of health and vitality.

Every Monday morning, Jin and a group of her friends meet in a park in Beijing to practise their favourite activity — break-dancing. Her friends call her “Auntie Cool”.

She is the kind of role model Chinese authorities were trying to find when they put on the first national beauty contest for the elderly.

The Silver-Aged Beauty Contest is part of a Chinese drive to deal with the issues facing a rapidly aging population.

Jin and her friends are enjoying a comfortable retirement. Jin re-married four years ago to Guo, a retired general in the Chinese military, and they live together in Beijing.

Despite suffering from diabetes, Jin is at the forefront of a new cultural revolution in China that has been sweeping through her generation in recent years.

A retired factory worker, she has forged a new career in her golden years as a dance teacher and elderly fashion model.

The Silver-Aged Beauty Contest has captured the imagination of elderly citizens across the country.

Six thousand older Chinese have battled through regional contests to win the honour of travelling to the capital for the final — some contestants travelling from as far as Inner Mongolia. Competition is stiff but Jin is in winning form, taking home the title of Image Ambassador for the Chinese Elderly and the Most Trendy award.