Inner beauty on display

Who says beauty is only skin deep? True good looks come from within as well, and no one knows that better than Highland Village resident Sheila Klein, 61, who will compete later this month in the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant in Dallas.

Klein, who performs tap and jazz routines and is a great grandmother, said she is honored to be in this unique pageant that features contestants of exemplary character and inner beauty, who also show outer beauty by their poise and grace. 

It’s all about sincere and “meaningful loveliness” and the winner goes on to compete at the national Ms. Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey in October.  It’s an event where the emphasis is not on physical beauty and as such, there is no swimsuit competition.

This year’s 2011 Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant will be held at the Double Tree Hotel at 4099 Valley View in Dallas on Saturday, August 13th at 1:00 P.M., and Klein said she would love southern Denton County residents to attend.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the hotel.  The ballroom opens at noon, and you can register for free prize drawings.

Klein will compete with contestants from the following towns:  Allen, Alvin, Arlington, Coppell, Dallas, Duncanville, Forth Worth, Frisco, Gladewater, Irving, Kingsville, Laredo, Mesquite, Pasadena, Plano, Richardson, San Angelo and Tyler.

No stranger to pageants, Klein won the title of Ms. Classic American Queen 2007. She is employed by Hewlett-Packard and is active in the Highland Village Women’s Club and the Dallas Tap Dazzlers. Her numerous community service endeavors include Bottom Buddies (collecting diapers and pull-ups for Child Protective Services), Sock It to a Senior (socks and toiletries for senior citizens) and a Backpack and School Supply Drive benefiting underprivileged children in Dallas County.

Pageant Volunteer and Highland Village resident Donna Batista, 65, said first and foremost, the upcoming event should not be thought of as a traditional beauty pageant.

“It’s a new concept pageant with a cause.  The important message that the senior pageant demonstrates is that the Senior Woman has a positive impact on our society today,” said Batista.

“In line with the purpose of the pageant, the competition begins with each contestant presenting their stories of achievements, adversities, and hopes.  The inner beauty aspect of each contestant is judged and revealed by her philosophy of life presentation and by how well she responds to the interview.  The outer beauty aspect of each contestant is judged and revealed through the poise of the evening gown competition and talent presentation such as singing, dancing, musical performance and even doing a Tai Chi demonstration.”

What is also unique about this pageant is the fact that since so many of these women give back to society by doing volunteer work, the Mary Frances Hansen Community Service Award is given by the senior pageant to the most deserving contestant.  This separate award is given to the contestant who has the most volunteer hours and by the impact she has made with her volunteer work.  She also receives a donation to her favorite charity.

Hansen, the director and coordinator of the pageant, is a flourishing 74 years “young,” and contributes to society and her family and friends in worthwhile, caring ways, as do many other senior women.

Batista said the important message the senior pageant demonstrates is that the Senior Woman has a positive impact on our society today. 

“Unfortunately, the image of the Senior Woman is not very positive.  Many times she is under recognized in our society for her worth and value as a human being,” said Batista.

“It’s important that the correct message about the Senior Woman is gotten across. Future senior women have to know that their fate can be of healthy aging, dignity, and value as seniors who set an example to their children and grandchildren as well as to other citizens of all ages.

“If they know this, they will embrace “getting older” and “getting better” and they will look forward to their senior years with enthusiasm. Hopefully, once this message is gotten across the Senior Woman will finally get the recognition, respect and positive image that she deserves.

“This is shown by the pageant focusing on the contestants’ “inner loveliness” and character and by focusing on all the good deeds and volunteerism that these special contestants contribute to society,” she added.

Texas Governor Rick Perry summed up the essence of the goals of the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant in his “2010 Greeting” in the Pageant Book, by stating that it “honors inner beauty by focusing on good works and volunteerism.”

A message for all of you ladies – 60 years “young” or more:  if the goals of the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant appeal to you, do not hesitate to apply to enter the 2012 senior pageant.

For more information about the Ms. Texas Senior America Pageant, call Mary Frances Hansen-Director/Pageant Coordinator at 972-334-0000 or email her at [email protected]


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