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Chinese elders become social media sensations: “Fashion Grandmas” & “Grandpa Kang”

Seniors keep challenging old-age stereotypes

Typically when people think of elders we are likely to think of their ailments, memory loss, vision and mobility issues, etc. In conjunction with this, there has been a steep slope for the elderly with technology, with the fast-paced changes hard to keep up with for those less tech-savvy.

During the pandemic, many daily activities such as purchasing food or paying bills must be done through apps and over the phone, with face-to-face communication heavily restricted and app approval necessary to enter shops within China. Previously, being unable to access the online world simply meant being unable to keep in touch with young people but in the present era, it is challenging to live a normal life if you don’t have internet access.

The elderly are considered a segment of the population that does not want or cannot adapt to new tech and the modern world.

Due to this, everything is changing, as middle-aged and elderly people are increasingly becoming active users online, due to the need for it which has then allowed them to access more virtues that the young previously dominated.

As social media and short video apps have grown in popularity in China, many senior citizens have become fans, and bloggers of short videos. They use the Internet to share food and have fun, aiming to bring reinvention and surprises to their audience, having their own takes on trends. The success of “Internet celebrities” among the elderly on China’s social media has also challenged people’s opinion of the aging population.

Retirees were sometimes considered to be passive, unintellectual, and rough. Today, these active and vocal elderly people are demonstrating that people over 60 can be stunning and elegant, although in a different way to young people. They are the new wave of influencers, who are trying to break down stereotypes associated with age.

So, what are the stereotypes? The elderly are considered a segment of the population that does not want or cannot adapt to new tech and the modern world, who come from a completely different era beyond what we live in today. Many young people consider them as “the category” that cannot stay up with the changing times and therefore would not fare well on social media due to the generational gap that differentiates them, and so on.


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