Can anyone say, handsome grandpa? Read on…
Old age in China begins early; the legal retirement age for women is 50 for workers and 55 for civil servants, and 60 for most men. And while being older in China normally means being respected, it can also mean being sentimentalized. You could be as young as 50 and still addressed as “yeye” or “nainai” — grandpa or grandma. But, Mr. Wang was having NONE of that.
And to prove that point, at his 80th birthday party, the man known as “China’s hottest grandpa” did D.J. duties.
From the article:
“Determined to avoid mental and physical stagnation, Mr. Wang has explored new skills and ideas while devoting ample time to daily exercise. Last year, he walked the runway for the first time, his physique causing a national sensation. He takes obvious joy in subverting China’s image of what it means to be old.
“One way to tell if you’re old or not is to ask yourself, ‘Do you dare try something you’ve never done before?’ ” he said in a recent interview at a hotel in Beijing.
“Nature determines age, but you determine your state of mind,” he said.”
Wang has always been athletic swimming more than half a mile each day. And he exercises his mind, too. While he drinks less alcohol now, he has no dietary restrictions. And honestly, at his age and with what he’s accomplished- he’s earned an eternal cheat day!
Born in the northeastern city of Shenyang in 1936, Wang was one of nine children. At 14 he began working as a streetcar conductor but would take singing, acting, and dancing lessons, eventually taking a job at a military factory and joining its art troupe.
He later worked in radio, film, and theater and in the early 80’s he taught runway modeling at a Beijing fashion school. After training his body, he was able to appear bare-chested in last years fashion show in Beijing’s 798 arts district.
More from the article:
“His appearance on the runway earned him a cultlike following. Some fans call him laoxianrou, or “old fresh meat,” making a play on the word for teen idol: xiaoxianrou, or “young fresh meat.’’
“People can change their life as many times as they wish. Having a goal is important,” he said.”
Fulfillment has come in many forms for Mr. Wang and someday soon that will include parachuting.
Source: NY Times