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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 April, 2005, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK
Beijing Beauties
China's silver-aged revolution marches forward as the country hosts its first ever beauty contest for the elderly.

Jin break-dancing
Beijing Beauties
Monday, 11 April, 2005
1455 BST on BBC Two

The Silver Age Beauty Contest is an inspired approach to addressing the issues of a rapidly increasingly elderly population.

The film follows remarkable contestant Jin Yingzi, a 68-year-old break-dancing granny from Beijing, as she body-pops her way through the contest's final stages.

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

Before China's social and political reforms of the late 1970s, individuality was forbidden, but now, many senior citizens have embraced the chance to relive their teenage years.

Some 6,000 elderly Chinese have battled through regional contests to win the honour of travelling to the capital for the beauty contest final.

In Beijing they are tested on their skills, talents and abilities, as well as their good looks and general appearance.

'Aunty Cool'

Jin faces some stiff competition from fellow contestants, but she is very determined.

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

"I think you can say I'm trendy. That's why so many people call me Aunty Cool," Jin says with a giggle.

"It's as important for people to be concerned with their appearance as they are with their deep inner spirit."

And it seems the Chinese government are in agreement.

It forms the underlying principle of the Silver Age Beauty Contest. If the older generation are encouraged to lead active and healthy lives, it will be better for the country... and its economy.

After all, by 2050 senior citizens will make up a quarter of China's entire population.


Producer: Zhao Dong
Associate producer: Steve Grandison
Series producer: Kiran Soni
Executive producer: Karen O'Connor



SEE ALSO:
China's break-dancing grandmother
10 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Jin's top beauty tips
12 Apr 05 |  Golden Years


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