In China, older men strike a pose in modelling classes

34 students with an average age of more than 60 years in the fashion modelling course at Harbin Elder University.
PHOTO: China Daily/Asia News Network

HARBIN, China - At the beginning of the new semester, Harbin Elder University welcomed its new students. Its new course in male fashion modelling has attracted much attention.

Every Monday morning, 34 students, who on average are older than 60, enter the classroom, all wearing the same uniform - white shirt, black trousers and black leather shoes.

Photo: China Daily/Asia News Network

"Most people believe that a fashion show is only for women, so I worried about whether there would be enough students to enrol in the course," teacher Han Ming said, remembering she was quite nervous before the first class.

Her worry was not superfluous. Before the first class on March 5, there were only 18 students who signed up.

Photo: China Daily/Asia News Network

However, the class performance did not disappoint the leaders or the teacher.

"The students' upright postures and confident expressions attracted lots of students from neighbouring classrooms," she said. "And nine of them decided to join in us immediately."

Photo: China Daily/Asia News Network

After four classes, the group has grown to 34, reaching the class size limit.

"Some of my neighbours couldn't understand why such an old man would choose to learn modelling and in their mind, the models should be women in qipaos," said Feng Yishun, 78, the oldest student in the classroom. "I don't care. This can bring me both physical fitness and a good mood. That is my goal."

Photo: China Daily/Asia News Network

Xin Debin, 66, waited for such a class for quite a long time.

"When I noticed the course in female fashion modelling, I began to look forward to joining the fashion class," he said. "Therefore when I got the news that Han would open a course for men, I signed up at once."

The male modelling class is one Xin said he greatly enjoys.

"Almost every day I will come to the university to have classes, which makes my life rich and full," Xin said. "I just want to tell my peers that it's never too late to start your dream."