The Oldest Pageant Contestant Ever – 46-Year-Old Vies for Miss Universe Ecuador

46-year-old Yajaira Quizhpi will be representing Ecuador in the Miss Universe beauty pageant this year. This Saturday, Quizhpi and 24 other contestants will face off in the pageant finals at Machala in El Oro province. The winner will represent Ecuador at the Miss Universe competition in Mexico in September.

Quizhpi is the oldest woman in the country’s history to participate in the contest organized by the Miss Universe franchise.

“I feel proud to be here. We have broken barriers and, as women, we can take a step forward without fear of what others might say,” she shared with CNN en Español in an interview.

Quizhpi’s chance to compete in the pageant wouldn’t have been possible before the Miss Universe organization changed its age requirements. Contestants previously had to be between the ages of 18 and 28, but now there is no upper age limit as of 2024.

Other contestants, like Daysi Laman, a divorced mother of three, and Carolina Cobo, a single mother of a seven-year-old, also wouldn’t have been allowed to participate without recent rule changes in the beauty pageant’s history.

Alejandra Rodriguez also made headlines in April, as the first 60-year-old woman to win a Miss Universe franchise-organized pageant when she took the crown for Miss Buenos Aires. Although Rodriguez didn’t go on to secure a spot in the Miss Universe pageant, she wholeheartedly supports the changes made by the franchise.

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