Studies have revealed the positive impact of serious leisure among older adults. Serious leisure is the systematic pursuit of an amateur, hobbyist, or volunteer core activity that is highly substantial, interesting, and fulfilling and where, in the typical case, participants find a career in acquiring and expressing a combination of special skills, knowledge, and experience. As serious leisure involves productive engagement and commitment, performing as a senior model reflects the serious leisure participation of older adults, which might offer a new insight into promoting healthy lifestyles. While many studies have been conducted in the context of leisure behavior of older adults, a study is yet to explore the behavior of senior fashion models. Given that serious leisure offers positive outcomes (e.g., personal growth, happiness) and demands substantial effort as and perseverance, the behavior of senior modeling can be understood using a serious leisure framework. The purpose of the study is to explore the behavior of older adults engaged in fashion modeling as a form of serious leisure. We conducted a series of face-to-face interviews with 31 participants. Interview questions focused on the participants’ perception as senior models and the meaning of being senior models. The ages of the participants ranged from 54 to 85 years (Mean age = 66.9). The constant comparison method was applied to continuously compare the views and experiences of the participants. Two central themes that shaped the participants’ senior fashion modeling experiences were identified: (1) the benefits of senior fashion modeling and (2) the costs of senior fashion modeling. Under each theme, several sub-categories were identified: confidence, stylish and ageless, friendships, painful training and investing effort, barriers associated with aging, and structural constraints. The findings obtained in this study highlight the important link between serious leisure and successful aging. Considering the benefits identified by the study participants, it is suggested that engaging in senior fashion modeling positively affects older adults’ quality of life.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology