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Celebrating ageless beauty

Pageant with senior category aims to send message of empowerment

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Kelly Hui on 11 Nov 2019

The Straits Times

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Here is a beauty pageant with a difference - those taking part have to be at least 60 years old.

 

The TKS Mrs Senior Singapore, a category in the TKS Mrs Singapore beauty pageant, aims to go beyond just physical beauty and also send a message of empowerment.

 

Although there was only one champion named, the organiser made sure each of the 10 contestants, ranging in age from 61 to 79, had a crown placed on her head.

 

Ms Beverly Tan, in her late 30s and founder of pageant company TKS, has been organising beauty contests for 13 years and started the seniors division in 2016 to inspire older women to remain confident, whatever their age.

 

On the night of the finale last Friday at Orchid Country Club, Ms Tan created a segment to specially honour the senior participants by presenting each of them with an award.

 

The awards included Mrs Senior Singapore Beautiful Mum and Mrs Senior Singapore Kindness.

 

Madam Kan Yuet Chee, 79, the oldest contestant in the TKS Mrs Senior Singapore 2019 category, was crowned the winner.

 

Madam Kan, a mother of six and grandmother of 12 who founded her own printing company, was encouraged to join the pageant by her best friend and last year's champion, Madam Teh Siew Peng, 77.

 

The lively pair met at a community karaoke event 20 years ago and found that they shared many interests, such as dressing up, singing and dancing.

 

Being active in different activities has helped keep their spirits up and has also improved their overall mental and physical health, they said.

 

Madam Kan said that taking part in the beauty pageant was a big step out of her comfort zone and a great way to celebrate her becoming an octogenarian next year.

 

"I often take part in activities at Ulu Pandan Community Centre with my friends, but this event has contestants from all over the world, so it is different," she said, referring to the Ms International and Mrs International categories.

 

Madam Kan has always loved being on stage.

 

Her granddaughter Kalista Wan, 21, has fond memories of supporting her and her late grandfather at singing competitions in the past.

 

So what is the secret to Madam Kan's vitality? She said she exercises every morning at 6am and makes sure she keeps herself busy with activities all day.

 

Friends of the two women initially raised their eyebrows at them taking part in a beauty pageant for seniors.

 

Madam Teh, who has two children and two grandchildren, said: "Pageants should not just be for the young. Seniors have their own beauty.

 

"We had to raise our families when we were younger, so we were not given the opportunity to enter such competitions."

 

The women hope to encourage other seniors to practise active ageing and to challenge themselves in their own ways.

 

"Now that we have the chance to go for it, and while we are still here, we should cherish it," added Madam Teh.

 

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

 

 

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