Gisele Bündchen, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Camila Alves. The list of beautiful women from Brazil goes on and on.
Now it’s time to add 65-year old grandmother Irenilda de Oliveira Meneses to that list.
The gorgeous granny beat out 200 other women last week to earn the crown of Brazil’s most beautiful elderly woman. Wearing a floor-length gown and a huge smile, the effusive blonde – nicknamed “Barbie” by her friends - was one of 25 finalists selected to compete in the beauty pageant in São Paulo, which was open to women aged 60 and over and timed to coincide with Mother's Day.
“Winning is very emotional, very emotional,” Meneses said. “I’m so swept away I’m without words. I’m still without words.”
Besides being this year’s most beautiful elderly woman, Meneses is also a married mother of two.
The contest saw women up to the age of 87 judged on their looks, smile, personality, elegance and more. While “Barbie” took home the top spot, awards were handed out for everything from Miss Congeniality to the Most Shy.
“The most important thing is for the ladies to feel like they’re taking part in life,” contest organizer Anilton Guedes told reporters. “Life hasn’t stopped for them. They’re still in the game.”
The oldest contestant, 87-year old Maria Helena Fernandes, said that despite her age, the contest made her feel youthful.
“We have to take advantage of life as much as we can,” she said. “Today I am way to happy to be here. I feel like a 200-year-old girl.”