Glam gran proves age is just a number after winning beauty pageant title at 6012/23/2020
A glam gran has proved that age is just a number after scooping first place in a beauty pageant.
Karen Russell, from Kentucky, US, gained her prestigious title at the age of 60.
She strutted her stuff against much younger women and took home five first place crowns.
Now the grandma-of-one hopes to set a good example for her granddaughter Shaylynn, 16, proving "anything is possible".
The retired quality ordinator, who is now 61, said: "There's nothing better than a gown and make-up walking down the runway.
"I wear false eyelashes and do my own make-up ahead of a pageant. Sometimes I even wear seven-inch heels on stage."
She continued: "I have competed against drop dead gorgeous women in their forties and still won.
"I just step on stage and be myself. A judge once said I talk too much and my hair is too big – but I still won."
Karen says many of her younger fellow contestants look up to her as "she proves age is just a number".
The gran decided to go into the world of beauty pageants after she was approached by a man in a hardware shop.
He asked her to participate in a Kentucky war veteran pageant where Karen said the cause "melted her heart".
Although she never got stage fright, the beauty pageant winner said finding an "age appropriate" dress was the hardest part.
She added: "I lost all my evening gowns in a house fire in 2013. Everything was burnt to a crisp so I had to buy brand new ones.
"One time, I tried on multiple dresses but couldn't even get the zip up. It turns out I was trying on prom dresses."
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She admitted: "I eventually found a stunning red mermaid dress and it made me feel like a princess.
"It was the first time I had got dressed up since losing my only son Jonathan, aged 32, in November 2011."
After donating her late son's organs to save other people's lives, Karen made it her mission to spread love and positivity.
The gran realised pageants are the perfect place to raise awareness.
She concluded: "I never in a million years thought I would ever enter a pageant. But now, I feel like I have found my calling.
"I've never felt sorry for my circumstances – I've always found something beautiful from it.
"Being a beauty queen isn't all about looks, it's about being charitable and helping the community. Something I'm passionate about.
"I also help uplift women who are younger than me. My granddaughter loves to go shopping with me as I always pick outfits for her."
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