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  • Cynthia Henry

Weatherford woman encourages other seniors to explore pageant world

Janet Standifer grew up in a small town in central Louisiana on a cattle ranch and farm. 

Like many little girls, she recalls huddling in front of the television with her mother and older sister each year to watch the Miss America pageant.

Most little girls dream of being on that stage but never pursue the glitz and glamour of the pageant world. Janet did.

“After high school, I attended Louisiana Tech University and befriended a classmate who was involved in local and state pageants,” she said. “My friend encouraged me to enter the Miss Louisiana Tech University pageant.”

She placed second while winning the swimsuit and evening gown competitions.

“I honestly didn’t think that I would even place. When the emcee announced my name as the winner of the swimsuit and evening gown competitions, I was stunned,” she said. “Then my name was announced as second runner-up, which was also a shock.

“This pageant was a turning point in my life. It was a self-discovery adventure and definitely boosted my confidence. The pageant journey also motivated me to take care of myself, learn about fashion and gave me an opportunity to sing on stage.”

Janet continued to enter and place in pageants. But after graduating, she enrolled in graduate school in Texas. After earning her master’s degree in speech pathology/psychology, she spent the next few decades concentrating on her career, marriage and daughter. 

A significant life change brought her to Texas in 2010, where she met her current husband Charles and settled in Weatherford. Decades had passed since she’d competed for a crown, but her interest was rekindled when she was asked to consider entering the Ms. Texas Senior America pageant a few years ago. 

“I was unaware that senior pageants even existed until I was 62 years old!” she said. But it didn’t take much coaxing to get her back onto the pageant stage.

After patiently waiting for COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted, she entered the Ms. Texas Senior America pageant in 2021 and returned in 2022.

“During the pageant journey, I met wonderful, talented women, who remain my friends,” she said.

Last year, she decided to try a new and different pageant system. 

“The Ms. Senior Earth Global Pageant, with Shan Carrasco as the director, was accepting applications,” she said. “I represented Texas in the 60s age group and placed second alternate in the national pageant in Branson, Missouri. This year, I represent Louisiana as Ms. Senior Louisiana Earth 60s and will compete for the national title on June 1.”

Unlike the Miss America pageant she grew up watching,  Ms. Senior Earth Global state titles are appointed/at-large titles.

“It is actually becoming more common in many pageant systems. This means that you are selected as a titleholder without competing at an in-person event. The titleholder, however, must meet pageant eligibility rules and the application must be reviewed and approved by the director.

There is an application fee and you must agree to fulfill your duties as a titleholder. Once you have been officially appointed, you will compete for the national title in your age group, which is an in-person onstage competition. 

The Ms. Senior Earth Global Pageant represents four age groups: 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The competition includes interview, evening gown, philosophy of life, talent, outfit of choice and state costume. No prior pageant experience is required.

“I take the responsibility of being a titleholder seriously and try to make as many public appearances and volunteer as much as possible to represent the pageant and the state,” she said. 

“I also promote my platform when an opportunity presents itself. As a dementia consultant and geriatric specialist, my mission is to increase awareness and educate the community about aging and dementia. For me, it’s more than just the crown and wearing a beautiful wardrobe, although that is one of the many aspects I love – it’s a responsibility and commitment with a meaningful agenda.”

Janet says performing her duties as Ms. Senior Louisiana Earth 60s has helped her improve her communication skills, boost her confidence level, and build valuable relationships within her community.

“My strong advice to senior women is to get involved within the community while following your passion,” she said. “We have a lifetime of experiences to share, along with our grace and wisdom. Not only is the pageant journey enjoyable but the opportunity allows you to experience new and different adventures.”

If you’re interested in getting involved with a senior pageant, contact Janet at 817-901-4658. She can guide you through the registration process. 

Even if you’ve never entered a pageant, she encourages you to give it a try.

“Beauty has no boundaries and can be found in each one of us,” she said.



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