Woman, 71, Makes History as Oldest Person to Compete in Miss Texas USA: 'There Is Beauty at Any Age'

This comes less than a year after the Miss Universe organization announced it was ending age limits for its contestants

<p>Miss Texas USA</p> Marissa Teijo, Miss Paso Del Norte USA

Miss Texas USA

Marissa Teijo, Miss Paso Del Norte USA

A 71-year-old woman has etched her name in history as the oldest person to compete for the title of Miss Texas USA.

Marissa Teijo set the state’s record over the weekend upon entering the competition for the 2024 title, according to Today and El Paso Times.

Teijo represented Paso Del Norte at the competition as she competed against dozens of other women at the Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel, per the competition’s website.

In an Instagram post shared on May 24, Teijo said she hoped her bid for Miss Texas USA would “inspire women to strive to be their best physical and mental self and believe there is beauty at any age.”

Related: After Miss USA Ended Its Age Limit, I Thought About Competing in My 40s. Why I Changed My Mind (Exclusive)

Teijo’s appearance in the Miss Texas USA competition comes less than a year after the Miss Universe organization announced an end to age limits for its contestants.

Contestants previously aged out of Miss Universe pageants after age 28. Now, any woman over the age of 18 is now allowed to compete.

Speaking with the Times, Teijo said, “I feel that all women now have a new stage of opportunity, strength and beauty.”

Aarieanna Ware was ultimately crowned winner of the contest, according to Austin American-Statesman. She will represent Texas on Aug. 4 at the Miss USA competition in Hollywood, Calif., where she will compete for the national title.

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It has been a tumultuous year for the Miss Universe organization, which saw both its Miss USA and Miss Teen USA representatives step down earlier this year.

Miss USA 2023 Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA 2023 UmaSofia Srivastava resigned just days apart in May. Voigt cited her desire to protect her mental health, while Srivastava said her “personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization."

She said she made the difficult decision “after months of grappling” with the idea.

Miss USA’s social media director also resigned around the same time, and claimed in a statement that the organization did not support her role or offer enough respect to the titleholders.

Related: Former Miss USA Noelia Voigt Didn't Know Miss Teen USA Was Also Resigning, Calls Her a 'Strong Young Woman’ (Exclusive)

Last month, Voigt expressed that she wanted to tell her side of the story and asked that her non-disclosure agreement be waived. Voigt’s request came hours after an “open letter” was released regarding the wave of resignations.

“We are very disappointed to hear the recent false allegations made by individuals speaking on behalf of our former titleholder,” read the letter from Miss USA President and CEO] Laylah Rose, which was published weeks after the moms of Voigt and Srivastava claimed their daughters had been "abused, bullied and cornered."

In the open letter, Rose said the organization is "absolutely committed to upholding the values and spirit of the Miss USA brand every day” and that the pageant “will continue to embrace the future for the benefit of all women."

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