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Pop Culture

62-year-old rocks the same outfits as her 23-year-old daughter to show that 'style has no age'

Gym Tan is a bona fide TikTok star with her fashion choices. She hopes it inspires others her age to shine.

gym tan fashion, fashion tiktok, fashiontok, fashion
@californiaistoocasual/TikTok

"Style has no age."

It feels like a safe bet to say that the phrase “fashion influencer on TikTok” instantly conveys an image of a young 20-something posting their latest shopping haul.

But just take it from 62-year-old fashionista Gym Tan—flair belongs to everyone, and it doesn’t have an expiration date.

As she shared in an article for Insider, Tan worked for around three decades in the fashion industry and had a genuine love for it. However, after moving from her home in Hong Kong to what she calls “casual California," Tan put her career—and her passion—to the side.

Thanks to some encouragement from her 23-year-old daughter, Mya, Tan began posting videos of her “classic, understated” outfits to TikTok. At first, it was nothing more than a fun creative outlet. Little did either of them know that Tan would become an instant viral sensation.


“Within three weeks, I had around 10,000 followers, and last year, I started to pursue content creation full-time, having now built up a following of 140,000 people,” Tan told Insider.

@californiaistoocasual Loving this relaxed yet elevated outfit for dinner with friends in Bali. #ootd #ootn #dinneroutfit #bali #vacationmode #style #styleinspo #momsoftiktok ♬ Do It - Chloe x Halle

And I mean, what’s not to love? From her effortless glam, to her adorable snap at the end of each video, this woman is a natural icon.

Things really took off after Tan posted a stitch while wearing the same form fitting black dress that a younger influencer wore. That video, which racked up 1.6 million views, also garnered a ton of praise.

Video below…and it’s 125% fabulous, if you ask me.

@californiaistoocasual #stitch with @oliviaamcdowell can’t wait for us to twin when I visit nyc 🫶 #abercrombie @Abercrombie and Fitch #abecrombiefind #abecrombiehaul ♬ Aesthetic - Tollan Kim

Inspired to spread the message that “style has no age,” Tan began posting videos with Mya showing off their matching outfits—from bikinis to sexy dresses to sweats and everything in between.

The best part? The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

“Nobody is telling me that I shouldn't be dressing like that at my age, [it] has felt empowering in so many ways,” she shared, noting that she too had started to “feel insecure” as she approached 50—thanks in part to how societal beauty standards could make women feel “invisible” as they get older.

@californiaistoocasual daily reminder! style has no age #ageisjustanumber #styleatanyage #twinning #ootd #styleover50 ♬ If We Ever Broke Up - Mae Stephens

Social media of course plays its own hand in this collective shortcoming, what with the constant ebb and flow of contrasting beauty trends. (Are we in the thin eyebrow season or the thick eyebrow season? I seriously can’t keep up.) Not to mention the plethora of filters that make a person look so completely sculpted, ageless and otherwise enhanced that they are left feeling devastated to find any signs of life on their real face.

However, Tan credits much of her newfound confidence to the welcome she’s gotten on social media—and on a platform geared towards a younger generation, no less.

“TikTok is thought to be home to Gen Z users primarily, and I was a bit nervous at first about how younger users would treat me on the app. My daughter told me that TikTok loves older people, and I've definitely found that to be the case,” Tan recalled.
@californiaistoocasual Just wear what you love! #ootd #twinning #ageisjustanumber #stylesnap #stylehasnoage #styleinspo #attitude #momsoftiktok #momsover60 ♬ 24K Magic - Bruno Mars

Though people of all ages stop by Tan’s TikTok to enjoy her styles, her new sense of purpose is inspiring others to abandon the fear of aging.

“I hope to show them that they can continue to gain confidence in themselves and the way they look as they get older, just as I have,” she told Insider.

If you want to follow along on Tan’s fashion journey, you can find her TikTok here.

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Gen Z is navigating a career landscape unlike any other.

True

Every adult generation has its version of a “kids these days” lament, labeling the up-and-coming generation as less resilient or hardworking compared to their own youth. But Gen Z—currently middle school age through young adulthood—is challenging that notion with their career readiness.

Take Abigail Sanders, an 18-year-old college graduate. Thanks to a dual enrollment program with her online school, she actually earned her bachelor’s degree before her high school diploma. Now she’s in medical school at Bastyr University in Washington state, on track to become a doctor by age 22.

a family of 6 at a graduation with two graduatesAll four of the Sanders kids have utilized Connections Academy to prepare for their futures.

Abigail’s twin sister, Chloe, also did dual enrollment in high school to earn her associate’s in business and is on an early college graduation path to become a vet tech.

Maeson Frymire dreams of becoming a paramedic. He got his EMT certification in high school and fought fires in New Mexico after graduation. Now he’s working towards becoming an advanced certified EMT and has carved his career path towards flight paramedicine.

Sidny Szybnski spends her summers helping run her family’s log cabin resort on Priest Lake in Idaho. She's taken business and finance courses in high school and hopes to be the third generation to run the resort after attending college.

log cabin resort on edge of forestAfter college, Sidny Szybnski hopes to run her family's resort in Priest Lake, Idaho.

Each of these learners has attended Connections Academy, tuition-free online public schools available in 29 states across the U.S., to not only get ready for college but to dive straight into college coursework and get a head start on career training as well. These students are prime examples of how Gen Zers are navigating the career prep landscape, finding their passions, figuring out their paths and making sure they’re prepared for an ever-changing job market.

Lorna Bryant, the Head of Career Education for Connections Academy’s online school program, says that Gen Z has access to a vast array of career-prep tools that previous generations didn’t have, largely thanks to the internet.

“Twenty to 30 years ago, young people largely relied on what adults told them about careers and how to get there,” Bryant tells Upworthy. “Today, teens have a lot more agency. With technology and social media, they have access to so much information about jobs, employers and training. With a tap on their phones, they can hear directly from people who are in the jobs they may be interested in. Corporate websites and social media accounts outline an organization’s mission, vision and values—which are especially important for Gen Z.”

Research shows over 75% of high schoolers want to focus on skills that will prepare them for in-demand jobs. However, not all teens know what the options are or where to find them. Having your future wide open can be overwhelming, and young people might be afraid of making a wrong choice that will impact their whole lives.

Bryant emphasizes that optimism and enthusiasm from parents can help a lot, in addition to communicating that nothing's carved in stone—kids can change paths if they find themselves on one that isn’t a good fit.

Dr. Bryant and student video meeting Dr. Bryant meeting with a student

“I think the most important thing to communicate to teens is that they have more options than ever to pursue a career,” she says. “A two- or four-year college continues to be an incredibly valuable and popular route, but the pathways to a rewarding career have changed so much in the past decade. Today, career planning conversations include options like taking college credit while still in high school or earning a career credential or certificate before high school graduation. There are other options like the ‘ships’—internships, mentorships, apprenticeships—that can connect teens to college, careers, and employers who may offer on-the-job training or even pay for employees to go to college.”

Parents can also help kids develop “durable skills”—sometimes called “soft” or “human” skills—such as communication, leadership, collaboration, empathy and grit. Bryant says durable skills are incredibly valuable because they are attractive to employers and colleges and transfer across industries and jobs. A worldwide Pearson survey found that those skills are some of the most sought after by employers.

“The good news is that teens are likely to be already developing these skills,” says Bryant. Volunteering, having a part-time job, joining or captaining a team sport can build durable skills in a way that can also be highlighted on college and job applications.

Young people are navigating a fast-changing world, and the qualities, skills and tools they need to succeed may not always be familiar to their parents and grandparents. But Gen Z is showing that when they have a good grasp of the options and opportunities, they’re ready to embark on their career paths, wherever they may lead.

Learn more about Connections Academy here and Connections’ new college and career prep initiative here.

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