Retired factory worker emerges as internet fashionista

Editor:Sharon Lee
Source:嶄忽晩烏利
Updated:2016-10-08 11:32:47

Retired factory worker emerges as internet fashionista

Huang Citong, a 74-year-old retired factory worker in Changsha, Hunan province, has changed people's stereotypes of old grandmas. [Photo provided to China Daily]

  This is not your typical oatmeal-chewing, square dance-loving grandmother.

  Black tinted shades, burning red lips, fuzzy fur coats, the 74-year-old retired factory woman from Changsha, capital of Hunan province, wears them with style and swagger like any chic young models.

  Huang Citong never imagined herself dressed like a celebrity before. In fact, she still blushes when discussing her photos, taken by her 20-year-old granddaughter Guo Jingjing.

  Guo is a college senior who loves fashion and photography. In February last year, Huang came to visit and Guo was captivated by her grandmother's aura of elegance.

  "She was sweet and outgoing, but her cloths were mediocre, so I wanted to change people's stereotypes of old grandmas," Guo said.

  She told her grandmother that she needed help with a school project. Huang agreed and the first photoshoot started right away near their home around Songya Lake.

  There wasn't much preparation and everything had to be improvised during the shoot, even Huang's clothes were from Guo's own closet.

  "I had one conditionnot too weird please," Huang said.

Retired factory worker emerges as internet fashionista

Huang Citong, a 74-year-old retired factory worker in Changsha, Hunan province, has changed people's stereotypes of old grandmas. [Photo provided to China Daily]

  Huang never did a photoshoot before, so her poses were reserved and awkward. To help her grandmother relax, Guo chatted lightheartedly with her and snapped shots between conversations. After a few tries, Huang became more confident and eased.

  The photos surpassed everyone's expectation. The dark bottom shirt with checkered black and white woolen coat added a layer of complexity and maturity to her fair skin. Huang's short, silver hair curled naturally at the sides of her round, black sunglasses. The final touch was red lips to bring out her sassiness.

  Guo shared the photos on WeChat for her friends and family to see.

  "They were surprised at first, especially my father," said Guo. "But later, everyone laughed and loved the creativity."

  Huang enjoyed being young again, and also won many fans on the internet.

  Her new fans wished for another round. Just months later, Guo and Huang were planning a second photoshoot. This time, Huang tried dresses and suits that she never worn before.

Retired factory worker emerges as internet fashionista

Huang Citong, a 74-year-old retired factory worker in Changsha, Hunan province, has changed people's stereotypes of old grandmas. [Photo provided to China Daily]

  In one photo, she stands in front of a concrete wall wearing a short, white wedding dress and a necklace with five pairs of cherry dangling down. She holds her hands like a ballerina, with a caption reading, "wearing a dress, be my own princess."

  "My grandmother is so beautiful and natural," Guo said. "She enjoys her dress so much that she even wears it to the supermarket."

  Although the photos have made Huang one of the few senior fashionistas on the internet in China, she said shyly that she doesn't feel her life is any different before: "It's probably because the way I dress in daily life is very different from that in the photos."

  In Guo's eyes, her grandmother is still the one who always loves the family in her own way. She would knit sweaters for her grandchildren and even prepared 10 sweaters for her unborn great granddaughter, "to finish these while I still can."

  "The fashion photoshoot was a project to show my love for her," Guo said.

  Recently she created an animated photo album to make Huang look like she was in Paris and space.

  "I wish my grandmother could see the world and do what she loved," she said. "And I want to keep her company."

  Surprising to her granddaughter, Huang would come up with new poses to go with her outfit.