In-Laws Bound by Fashion and Fame

ByZhang Yi August 13, 2020

Dressed in matching outfits, Zhou Huimin and Cheng Guoling enjoy parading and pouting like models in their living room in Beijing, even if there is no audience.

Their fashion shows are turned into videos with the help of a mobile phone mounted on a tripod. They then upload them to the short-video app Douyin, not only to share their favorite clothes with netizens, but also to document their everyday lives.

Known as "the happy life of two mothers-in-law," their videos show how in-laws can live in harmony while also maintaining their own interests. Cheng, 58, enjoys practicing yoga, while Zhou, 65, performs popular dance routines.

In 2018, the two mothers-in-law moved from their hometowns to Beijing to live with their children. Both left their husbands behind to care for their elderly parents, but the women regularly return home to see their spouses.

The cohabitation of mothers-in-law is unusual in China, where one side of the family tends to steer clear of the other to avoid any possible conflict.

However, Cheng and Zhou get along well and share similar hobbies and tastes in fashion.

"The most important thing is that we are considerate toward each other," Zhou said.

"Fashionable grannies" in the eyes of their friends, the two are both active users of video platforms and started making their own clips at the end of May.

Without any training in video production, Zhou, a former company employee, and Cheng, a former high school teacher, never considered getting rich or famous through their hobby. They regard it as an adventure that brings them happiness.

"When I was young, society was more conservative," Zhou said. "People wore plain clothes and didn't wear makeup. Now, I want to make up for it."

She said learning new skills to produce the videos made her feel young again. "Most of my peers can't make a video and they admire us very much. I've already taught some of them, which filled me with confidence."

Cheng said making videos makes the pair feel fulfilled and they like to watch them over many times.

"I was very busy during my career and worked very hard to prove myself," Cheng said. "There was no time to have fun. I used to think retirement was scary and that people who don't work quickly get old, but it turned out to be fulfilling and enriching."

They have attracted about 7,000 followers in two months and their most popular video has been viewed 2.3 million times. Their followers admire the friendship of the mothers-in-law as well as their vibrant lifestyles.

"We want to show a positive outlook to the audience, including a harmonious family relationship and ordinary, but very enjoyable lives, despite our advanced ages," Cheng said. "We are a positive energy."

 

(Source: China Daily)

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