The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

Number 136

This issue:

Ms Super Centenarian


Imagine a beauty and talent pageant with lovely, talented women sharing their wisdom and philosophy of life—and imagine the contestants are all over 100 years old.


In 1954 the Miss America contest was broadcast live on television, capturing 39% of American viewers (27 million people). It spawned many imitators, Miss USA, Miss Teen America, Miss Junior Teen America, Miss Universe, Mrs. America, etc. I found there also is a Ms Senior America contest that has a minimum age of 60.

While the contestants are very attractive, judging is 30% talent, 30% interview, 20% philosophy of life, and only 20% evening gown competition. How appropriate that weight is given to sharing what one has learned. The contest seeks contestants who have contributed to their communities. It emphasizes inner beauty as well as outer beauty.

The contest got me thinking. Can a Ms Centenarian contest be far off? I for one would love to see it. It will probably have an even stronger emphasis on wisdom and philosophy of life. In 2000 the US had 72,000 centenarians (Americans 100 years or older). The US Census Bureau predicts we will have 1.2 million centenarians by 2050. A contest seems inevitable. Now that centenarians are becoming common, we are hearing about super centenarians—people 110+ years old. Perhaps a Ms Super Centenarian Contest will come as well.

Why care? Imagining a Ms Centenarian or Ms Super Centenarian pageant pushes and stretches your thinking about aging and how vital people can be at 100+ years. That pushing and stretching helps you believe it is possible for you to be vital and doing exciting things in your hundreds. Once you believe such a pageant is possible, you pay more attention to what it takes to do it live well into your hundreds—because it sure beats the alternative.


Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

~Eleanor Roosevelt

Beauty is as beauty does.

~(source unknown)


If I had known I would live so long, I would have taken better care of myself.

~Mark Twain (and many others)

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