By JUWON PARK Associated Press

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.”


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