The Glamorous Granny Pageant has gone to the scrap pile, but organiser Jewel Smalldon refuses to give up on her passion.
Cayman Golden Girl and the Bold and Beautiful Pageant will take place at the Harquail Theatre on 17 December and, according to Mrs. Smalldon, it will be a glitzy Christmas affair with 14 contestants ready to party.
Besides nice gifts, the winners will have the opportunity to go overseas to represent the Cayman Islands in other pageants. The reigning Glamorous Granny, Celina Dilbert, was a runner-up in the senior’s pageant in Boston last year. She also represented the Cayman Islands at a pageant in Houston, Texas earlier this year.
Proceeds from this year’s pageant will go toward assisting the children of Anna Evans, who went missing earlier this year.
“I had to scrap the Glamorous Grannies, which was supposed to take place on 5 November because I could not get enough ladies interested in entering the contest,” she said. “After 18 years of running the pageant, I am very unhappy to see it discontinued because of lack of interest from participants and sponsors. I was just hanging in to see if anyone would register before the closing date on 24 September, but that did not work out at all. Even some sponsors who were on board bailed out at the last minute because of economic downturn,” she said.
At 82, Mrs. Smalldon said it is a shame because it was such a good outlet for seniors to meet new people and friends, as well as give back to the community.
“Entering a beauty pageant can be something new and exciting to try, especially if you are bored and all alone,” she said. “You meet new friends and have fun at the same time. Whatever your reasons, be your own person and put your best foot forward … you are never too old to feel young.
“Some people say we are too old to be entering beauty contests, but they should look at seniors who have entered the competition in other countries which are in their 90s,” she said. “When we get old we don’t want to sit down and do nothing, we want to keep our minds and bodies occupied because it is very important for our well being.”
A granny winner herself, Mrs. Smalldon said it is a delightful experience and gives seniors the opportunity to be ambassadors for the Cayman Islands. “I did not have a job after my children went to school, so I became involved in charity and through various charity work raised thousands of pounds for various works. Don’t let anyone discourage you from participating. If you are active and 55 plus, go ahead and strut your stuff,” she said. “Dress the part, wear clothing in which you feel comfortable and look professional. Evening gowns should reflect your own style. It is a great experience to meet new friends gain self-confidence and an incentive to get in shape and learn more about yourself.”