Youthful Grandma Takes Part In Pageants Alongside Her Daughter
A glamorous grandmother has started taking part in beauty pageants alongside her daughter saying it has given her a 'new lease of life'.
Laurie Meisak, 55, decided to give pageants a go after watching the efforts of her 24-year-old daughter Amy, who is Miss Grand International Scotland.
The gorgeous pair are often mistaken for sisters due to Laurie's youthful looks.
The mum-of-four - whose oldest son also has two children of his own - now wants to encourage more women to take part, saying that it has helped to boost her confidence.
She said: "It was my first pageant. I'm a mum of four and I've never done anything like this before.
"As a mum I've always been a cheerleader for my children and supported them and now they're grown up. I never thought I would be on the receiving end and my family would be cheering for me.
"I feel wonderful. I've never felt this good in my life and I've loved every second.
"I did it for the fun factor and to fly the flag for women of all shapes and sizes. Whether you're a size six or 16, tall or short, fat or thin it doesn't matter. It's about taking part and having fun.
"No woman should feel as if she's past her sell-by date or has a shelf life. I think if I can do it anyone can."
Laurie, who has two grandchildren, has spent the past five years supporting her daughter Amy in the competitions, even helping her make dresses.
The hairdresser from South Lanarkshire, said: "A lot of people say we look like sisters. Amy and I look very similar. She changed her hair recently and it's a similar colour so we look even more alike.
"We have a make-up artist friend who did our make-up for the pageants and she said it's uncanny how alike we are - we have the same eye shape.
"Sometimes when I'm scrolling through pictures of Amy I have to go back because I think it's me and she does the same.
"Amy was 19 when she did her first pageant and she came third. She got through to the final of Miss World Supermodel and got to compete in Fiji then she represented Scotland in the Miss Earth competition in Vienna - she's had such a great experience with it all."
Laurie has also managed to raise around £2,000 ($2,800) for good causes as part of the process and is keen to dispel a few myths about the pageant scene.
Laurie said: "There's a stigma. People think you have to stand there and look pretty but there's so much work that goes on in the background.
"You are judged but you get points for the amount of appearances you've made, how much money you've raised, for how you pose on stage, for your personality, for the interview you give and for how you dance.
"It's not just about beauty or how big your boobs look. It's about what you've done and how well you've done it.
"Amy's met brain surgeons, scientists, racing car drivers. Some of these girls are really intelligent and it's a shame there's this perception about it. People tend to judge when they don't have the facts."
Opening up about taking part in the pageants, she said: "I felt so proud of myself. It's been a blast. I feel 21 again and I've made so many new friends. It's given me a new lease of life.
"I thought I would just end up doing the one but I've got the bug now and I would encourage women of any age to have a bash. There were women of all ages in the 'Mrs' category - I think I may have been the eldest.
"It's such a supportive community. Some people think these girls have long nails and sharp elbows but that couldn't be further from the truth. Everyone supports and encourages each other."
She added that taking part makes her 'put herself first'.
Daughter Amy, who has represented Scotland three times and the UK once in the Miss Grand International, Miss Earth, Miss World Supermodel and Face of the Globe competitions, said: "It was a mix of feelings seeing her up there. I was feeling nervous for her but proud at the same time. She looked amazing.
"She's always the one making sure things are working smoothly. This time it was me helping her with her make-up and glamming up her outfit.
"She's usually the proud mum at the back of the assembly hall but this time it was the other way round.
"She's been the mum and always put us before her - now it's time for her to enjoy herself.
"She's always been a trendy mum but I've seen a real change over the last couple of months. She's starting to feel really good about herself.
"She's been getting fit and it's given her more confidence. She's got such life in her.
"We've always been close growing up but I feel like the pageants have brought us closer together as it's a hobby we're doing together."
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