Ms. Senior DC is not a beauty contest, says Frances Curtis Johnson, 69, who took home the crown in 2017. It's about elegance, sophistication, poise and maturity.
"Things that you want to share with your young ones," Johnson said.
Her duty as Ms. Senior DC was to represent the dynamic, lively community of women aged 60 and above who live in our city.
The group of women competing are redefining beauty, focusing on health, wellness, happiness and self-confidence, they told News4.
"Over time, I have gone from what I called superficial beauty to core beauty. And that's where I am, and I think that's true for the women in this pageant as well," said 71-year-old Vanella Jackson-Crawford.
"The word confidence, now, is more of a beauty description that whether your hair is intact," she continued.
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Phyllis Jordan, 63, is the reigning queen — at least, until Sunday, when the pageant returns to the University of the District of Columbia Theater of the Arts and a new queen is chosen.
Each contestant will compete in four categories and be judged on elegance, poise, style, philosophy of live and evening gown presentations.
The women have a variety of talents, Jordan says, from boxing to singing.
"I have a lot of respect for a woman that's willing to step out of the box and maybe do something different," Jordan said.
That winner will get a chance to represent the District at the Ms. Senior America Pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in October.
The D.C. Department of Aging and Community Living helps to organize the pageant. For more information, call 202-724-5626