Article by Ceri Wheeldon
It really is never too late to push boundaries and try new things in life. Carolyne could never have imagined that she would find herself at 70 entering and winning a classic beauty pageant.
Not tall enough, and at a size 14, not slim enough to be a model, Carolyne loves the comradery of the pageants, and the opportunity to bring more glamour into her life.
Carolyne has always loved clothes – having worked in Kensington , popping into Biba and Bus Stop in her lunch hour in her late teens and twenties. Her main passion in life at that time was music, singing in a group with her sisters and writing songs for others.
Marriage and family life took over, and it wasn’t until Carolyne was 60, that a random meeting in the street, led her to being asked to model a Mother of the Bride’s outfit for a bridal shop. More fashion shows followed……together with an opportunity to enter classic pageants.
Carolyne loves pageants. They provide her with a sense of purpose and focus. She won her first one in 2009 when she was 60. It had a talent element – and when she stood on the stage and looked around at the audience , Carolyne decided to sing ‘just a little girl’. The audience started to sing along with her, and she won the title ‘London Glamourous Grandmother’.
The pageants provide challenges for Carolyne, along with opportunities to learn and improve. They encourage her to be and look her best! And of course she meets like-minded women.
Carolyne loves glamour
And lets not forget the glamour – which Carolyne absolutely loves. She feels there are far too few opportunities to get dressed up in life today – so she is on a mission to create opportunities to do so. As Carolyne says, according to Joan Collins, once glamour disappears its very hard to bring it back to everyday life.
Typically the pageants require 4 changes of outfit. A Day Dress, Sports Wear, Cocktail Dress and Evening Dress. Plenty of opportunities to be glamourous!!
Carolyne would love to encourage more women to enter classic pageants – the most recent that she won was the Pure Sweetheart pageant earlier this year – she will be handing over to a new winner in January – and there is still time to enter!!
Carolyne’s family are immensely proud of what she is achieving- and the pageants provide a focus following the premature death of her husband.
Continuing the dream in her 70s
At 70 Carolyne still plans to carry on. Her tips for anyone looking to start entering the world of pageants are:
- Be open to improvement – you will have lots of encouragement and support from others
- Have a sense of humour
- Have fun. Pageants are great if you love fashion – and do wonders for self esteem. You go from shy to blooming!
As her pageant motto says : Inspire, Lead, Achieve. Carolyne is certainly doing that.