71-year-old competing in Miss Texas USA pageant

Updated

A 71-year-old from El Paso is making history this weekend as the oldest contestant in the Miss Texas USA pageant.

Marissa Teijo is slated to compete in the pageant in Houston. The winner will go on to represent Texas in the Miss USA competition. Miss USA goes on to compete in Miss Universe.

The Miss Universe organization lifted rules to be more inclusive by removing age limits for contestants vying for the crown this year. Contestants now can also be married, pregnant or divorced. The organization has drawn intense scrutiny in recent months after the resignations of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA in May. But that hasn't dissuaded Teijo.

In an email, she said she wanted to relay a message that it is never too late to chase your dreams.

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

El Pasoan Marissa Teijo will make history this weekend as the oldest contestant in the Miss Texas USA pageant. Teijo is 71.
El Pasoan Marissa Teijo will make history this weekend as the oldest contestant in the Miss Texas USA pageant. Teijo is 71.

With nearly 100 women competing against her, she said she’s never felt more motivated to chase her dream.

Born and raised in El Paso, Teijo says she’s excited to inspire El Pasoans and Texans to break barriers in their fields of interest, regardless of age.

Jackie Garcia-Martinez, CEO of Bazaar Models, who represents Teijo, said the agency is also proud to represent diverse women. Seven other young women from El Paso will compete in the pageant.

“I represent women of all shapes, ages, and races. As I prepare my team to compete at Miss Texas, I’m thrilled to support these women who inspire me as a leader every day,” she said.

María Cortés González may be reached at mcortes@elpasotimes.com, @EPTMaria on Twitter; eptmariacg on TikTok.

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: 71-year-old woman makes history competing in Miss Texas USA pageant

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