Ageless Fashion – China’s “Goddess Granny” Huang Yanzhen

The 73-year-old Huang Yanzhen from Xiamen has become a media sensation in China. With her unique style and young spirit, she is a fashion inspiration to many. Chinese photographer Xiaoye Jessie captured her charm in a photoshoot that became a hit on Chinese social media.

The 73-year-old Huang Yanzhen (黄炎贞) has become a Chinese internet celebrity after her fashion photos were shared amongst netizens, who nicknamed her “Goddess Granny” (女神奶奶).

“Age is nothing but a number,” is what Huang told Chinese media.


The fashionista stood out when she participated in China’s Second Qipao Competition in Xiamen in December of 2015 (the qipao is a traditional, stylish one-piece Chinese gown). She also played in the short movie “Remember the Younger Years” (忆芳华).

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Her story drew the attention of photographer Xiaoye Jessie (@小野杰西), who made the series of photos that became popular on Chinese media.

They shot over 1000 photos, and although the process was tiring, Huang said she found it important to do because she wanted to show that “the lives of China’s elder people can still be brilliant,” and that they have the right to “pursue their dreams and lead the lives they want to live”.




Earlier this year, photographer Xiaoye Jessie also shared a photo shoot with a male older model on his Weibo account.



According to photographer Xiaoye Jessie, as he wrote in his blog: “If life is like a book, then age is like a page number. When opening every new page and reading it, it will always bring people new surprises.”



– By Manya Koetse

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About the author: Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at, or follow on Twitter.

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