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This 77-year-old Korean Grandma quit her hospital job to model instead

This 77-year-old Korean Grandma quit her hospital job to model instead

Tasneem Nazari

There’s a stereotypically unlikely fashion star in South Korea.

Choi Soon-Hwa is the oldest professional model in the country, at 77 years old (in Korean years. Yes, that’s a thing)

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내일 1ì‹œ Cpbc 보이는 라디오 Nê°„ 베테랑 휩쓸고 오겠습니더~🌹휘릭 – 다들 들어주실거죠~? – @theshowproject_ma – – #더쇼프로젝트 #티에스피모델 #모델#패션모델 #광고모델 #일상 #패션 #최순화 #모델최순화 #photography #female #femalemodel #followforfollowback #시니어모델 #photo #일상 #photographer #촬영 #포토 #fashionmodel #koreanmodel #seniormodel

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Formerly a care worker who worked 20 hours a day in a hospital, Choi Soon-Hwa is very happy with her latest gig.

“It was hard to even get myself lunch. The stress was excruciating – it was as if a volcano was about to erupt inside me.”

Choi Soon-Hwa viaAgence France-Presse.

Nearly half of the elderly population in South Korea are poor. And before Choi became a model, she too was swimming in debt, using all her earnings to pay off loans.

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여러분의 몸과 마음을 젊게 유지하는 비결은 무엇인가요⁉️ – @harpersbazaarkorea @theshowproject_ma @jwon0808 @choimoonhyuk @ahyoung_makeup @janghyeyeon_ – – #더쇼프로젝트 #티에스피모델 #모델#패션모델 #광고모델 #일상 #패션 #최순화 #모델최순화 #photography #female #femalemodel #followforfollowback #photo #일상 #bazaar #bazaarkorea #바자 #바자코리아 #ë·°í‹°#ê±´ê°• #photographer #촬영 #포토 #fashionmodel #koreanmodel

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But recently, there has been a trend in South Korean of senior citizens becoming social media and fashion celebrities. Choi found an opportunity to change industries after she saw an advertisement about senior models.

Soon after enrolling in a few modelling classes, Choi was picked up by a modelling agency and not long after that, she made her catwalk debut.

Speaking about the differences between modeling and her previous career, Choi shared something surprising. At her previous position in the hospital, she used to have to regularly dye her hair as patients didn’t like someone who “looked too old” caring for them.

However, as a model (and despite her new job being based on appearances), Choi no longer needs to dye her hair as her distinctively grey hair is a feature designers are looking for.

Watch Choi talk about her life as an elderly model in the video below!


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