Older women are the fresh faces of South Korean influencers

Jun 30, 2021, 12:58 AM | Updated: 11:10 am
South Korean YouTuber Park Makrye, 74, discusses the country's rapidly changing attitude towards ge...

South Korean YouTuber Park Makrye, 74, discusses the country's rapidly changing attitude towards gender and age during an interview, on May 20, 2021, in Seoul, South Korea. Park's YouTube channel “Korea Grandma” has over 1.32 million subscribers from around the world. The freshest faces among South Korean influencers are no longer the usual, 20-something celebrities. Instead, entertainment and social media are focusing on a new generation: the elder generation. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The freshest faces among South Korean influencers are no longer the usual, 20-something celebrities. Instead, entertainment and social media are focusing on a new generation: the elder generation.

Older women were once invisible in South Korean entertainment as the industry stuck to rigidly conservative traditional female roles and cast them only as devoted mothers.

But older women are front and center in recent advertising and entertainment series.

A pioneer in the trend is Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung, the 74-year-old “Minari” actor who promotes Oriental Brewery beer and the Zig Zag shopping app in two recent ad campaigns.

The beer video highlights the novelty of its spokesperson, who says: “For someone like me to be on a beer ad, the world has gotten so much better.” With a Cass beer in her hand, Youn says she makes friends by being her authentic self and alludes to the beer helping people to dissipate their social awkwardness.

South Korean producer Kim Sehee said Youn’s Oscar win earlier this year inspired his entertainment series, “Wassup K-Grandma.” He said South Korean young people have a new interest in their elders, birthing a new word “harmaenial” — a portmanteau of the South Korean word “harmoni,” or grandmother, and the English word “millennial.”

The series broadcast in May was one of the first Korean shows to feature grandmothers as main characters, according to Kim. It brought international guests to live as temporary sons-in-law with Korean grandmothers. The color of the series came from the grandmothers’ attempts to communicate with their foreign in-laws and share homemade meals and decades-old ginseng alcohol.

Park Makrye, a popular South Korean YouTuber, said the country’s attitude towards gender and age has been rapidly changing.

“Back in the days, people thought women were supposed to be only housewives cooking at home but that’s once upon a time. People must adapt to the current era,” she said.

Park, 74, is one of the leading lights in the South Korean frenzy. Her YouTube channel “Korea Grandma” has over 1.32 million subscribers. In her videos, Park throws expletives while reviewing a Korean drama and screams her lungs out while paragliding for the first time.

Park’s success has paved the way for others. Jang Myung-sook gives out fashion and lifestyles tips on her channel ” Milanonna,” a nonagenarian known as Grandma “Gganzi” raps and shares personal stories about living through the Japanese colonization, and a 76-year-old YouTuber flaunts her “single life” on ” G-gourmet. ”

“I would like to tell grandmothers to try everything they want to do and not be concerned with their age,” Park told The Associated Press.

“For young people…You’ll be OK as long as you are healthy,” she said. “Please fight on and best of luck.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

FAA clears Boeing to resume deliveries of 787 Dreamliner

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators said Monday they are satisfied with changes Boeing has made in the production of its 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, clearing the way for the company to resume deliveries to airline customers “in the coming days.” The Federal Aviation Administration announcement confirmed reports late last month and came days after the […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-Ohio court mediator arrested; allegedly sent feces to GOP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man is in custody after being accused of sending about three-dozen feces-filled letters to lawmakers around the country, including Ohio’s 25 Republican state senators in early July. Police arrested Richard Steinle, a 77-year-old from Mogadore, Ohio, and former Portage County Common Pleas Court mediator on Friday. Steinle is charged […]
12 hours ago
FILE - The sun sets behind the Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks take place in Vienna, ...
Associated Press

Talks to revive Iran nuclear deal end, produce ‘final text’

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Talks to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear accord with world powers in Vienna ended Monday as the parties closed a final text and key negotiators prepared to consult with their capitals, diplomats said. After 16 months of torturous on-and-off indirect negotiations to restore the deal, the European Union’s foreign affairs […]
12 hours ago
FILE - Historian and author David McCullough poses with art by George Catlin, one of the artists fe...
Associated Press

David McCullough, Pulitzer-winning historian, dies at 89

NEW YORK (AP) — David McCullough, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose lovingly crafted narratives on subjects ranging from the Brooklyn Bridge to Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman made him among the most popular and influential historians of his time, has died. He was 89. McCullough died Sunday in Hingham, Massachusetts, according to his publisher, […]
12 hours ago
In this undated photo released by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is Deputy Andrew Peery. Autho...
Associated Press

Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot at southern Colorado home

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed Sunday while responding to a weekend shooting at a home in southern Colorado, authorities said. Deputy Andrew Peery was killed Sunday after he arrived at the home in the community of Security near Colorado Springs to investigate a report of a shooting along […]
12 hours ago
Associated Press

MN school district policy bans teaching “divisive concepts”

BECKER, Minn. (AP) — A central Minnesota school district is clashing with the teachers union and LGBTQ allies over a proposed policy that opponents say would undermine equity and inclusion. The proposal by three Becker school board members prohibits “political indoctrination or the teaching of inherently divisive concepts,” in the district’s schools. Policy opponents say […]
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Older women are the fresh faces of South Korean influencers