Mrs Grumble is getting to grips with the thought she might cash in on glamourous grannies

Dunno about her teeth, but the rest of her is in good nick.

Grannies of the world, unite.

It seems you no longer are expected to sit in rocking chairs in your shawls, darning the family socks, knitting booties for the grandkids, or whatever.

The modern grandma is having none of that and – to the contrary – is showing off the fact she is sexy and active.

This is uplifting news for that generation of sheilas who have got to an age where uplift is essential, unless they have had a surgeon tuck things up for them.

In the US, the older woman is being celebrated and Mrs Grumble is thinking about doing what the Americans are doing.

She is looking into the merits of organising a Ms Mature New Zealand contest.

This is the age of the granny, she insists. Let’s celebrate these ladies.

She cites an article she has been reading which asks:

What do Betty White, Diane Sawyer, Cher, and Barbra Walters, all have in common? Diane and Cher are both over 60 and still at the top of their game, while Barbara and Betty are well over 80. To top it off, Betty White is currently the “hottest” woman in the youth obsessed entertainment industry

Today’s prime time woman is not just somebody’s granny. She is youthful (60 is the new 40), talented, confident, proud of her age, and ready to let the world know that she has a voice and plenty to say.

But how do these sheilas tell the world they are still alive, kicking, and ready for action if they are already a celebrity?

20 years ago she would have resigned herself to baking cookies, babysitting the grand children and limiting her passionate aspirations of being on stage in Las Vegas to daydreams and fantasy’s. . .NOT ANY MORE!

With today’s social media being so powerful that, in less than a week, a group on facebook can topple a dictator, anyone can become a star in 48 hours, regardless of their age or gender. Taking into consideration the voting public’s love of social media competitions, the timing could not be better for the launching of the first online senior performance pageant–Ms. Senior USA

It seems this performance pageant is offering a great opportunity for senior women to showcase their talents using networking sites, like Facebook and Youtube and Twitter.

It gives them a platform to promote their businesses, too, and share their stories with millions of people.

Ms. Senior USA voting involves the public in the preliminary and semi-finals through the use of each contestant’s page on the website, a YouTube 2 min video of their talent, voting Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and e-mails.

Final judging will give them a chance to win $3,000 and perform onstage at Harrah’s in Las Vegas, Nevada, August, 2011.

And so the organisers are urging all women in the US over 60 with a talent to share, whether it be singing , dancing, novelty or “surprise us”, to sign up.

And here’s where Mrs Grumble became interested, because she noted that the cost of entry is $25 for the first preliminary event.

Let’s see. Just 120 entrants, and you will have collected enough cash for the prize money. Of course, you would need more entry money than that to cover your admin and all the rest of it, but …

Yep. It could be nice little earner.

But the missus had better get cracking, because similar contests are up and running, and some have gone or are going global.

The Ms. Senior Sweetheart Pageant, for example, was started in in the US in 1978 as a Lions’ Club fund raiser and has plans for an International pageant.

The Guardian, which is part of Alf’s weekend reading, has dug up another one with a report on its website about the Ms Senior America pageant which was created in 1972 “to challenge a culture that worshipped youth and dreaded wrinkles”.

This seems to be a different contest from the one that Mrs Grumble might replicate.

The Guardian report is about a pageant that would embrace the experience, wisdom, dynamism and beauty of the older woman – even if a few had been surgically assisted to escape the ravages of time.

In this case the three-day pageant was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey a few months ago.

Last October, 61-year-old dentist Kimberly Moore won the pageant with a lip-pouting, hip-wiggling mime of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary routine. Runner-up, Dr Maddy Paschal, sang country song I’d Choose You Again, with a poem she wrote for her husband inserted into the middle. Meanwhile, Marilyn O’Leary, 62 delivered a one-woman duet from La Traviata. Talent was only one of the categories they were judged on – there was also their philosophy of life, community service and poise.

The women who enter – says The Guardian – tend to be thankful for what they’ve got, rather than grieving for what they have lost.

Most have lost plenty, though. It’s that time of life. Many will swap stories about cancer and bereavement, disappointing men and mistakes made, but more than anything, they share a hunger for life.

Winner Kimberly Moore, a dentist, says she would never have thought of entering a pageant in the old days.

“I used to think they were a form of exploitation,” she says. It’s amazing how many high-achieving women were in the finals, I say. One, two, three, four PhDs – she’s counting as we speak.

“Yes, pageants have evolved, contestants are more educated and well-rounded.”

How has victory changed her life? “It’s the crowning glory. It has given me inspiration to do more things. I can’t stop now.”

She hopes to go out to Haiti and Sierra Leone, to share her dental and dancing skills.

Alf observes that Eketahuna does not have a dentist.

Maybe she might like to emigrate and put up her shingle somewhere on the main drag.

Alf is not much into dancing, but he wouldn’t mind a shimmy with Kimberley.

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