A dear friend stumbled across a popular magazine’s search for “real women”.  They were looking for women to feature in their ageless beauty campaign. She knew that I would want….that I would need to enter my grandmother.

When I think of this lady….so many things come to mind. She’s passionate, caring, resilient, smart, loving, graceful, beautiful and fearless. She is all about her family. All of the qualities that I would hope any woman would want to possess. She is not only an ageless beauty but she’s timeless as well.

When I decided to enter her in this contest, I was both excited and nervous. I mean this  is kinda like a contest……you know, where there is a “winner”, to some degree. I didn’t like the thought of my granny being judged……especially by people who didn’t know her, people that couldn’t possibly see that her outer beauty was only a mere fragment of the beauty that was on the inside. I knew that this was nothing but a smidgen of fear talking, but it had me at “hello”. I quickly dismissed the fear, replaced it with “hope” and “excitement” and proceeded with the application. I think I was slightly giddy when I hit the “send” button……I had just entered granny…..no turning back now.

A couple of days later, we got a response…..granny would be going to New York. She was officially an “Ageless Beauty”. We’ve known this all along but now the world would see this rare beauty for themselves.

I was already planning her modeling career…..I would become her manager and we’d travel the world.

Now, let’s get back to reality……when I saw the article, I was beaming from ear to ear, like a proud parent. I had done something so simple that yielded such major results. I thought about how so many of us, when given the opportunity to do something that’s out of our comfort zone or something that may seem unobtainable, we don’t take that chance……we won’t hit the “send” button. We stay paralyzed in fear…….fear of rejection or fear of failure.

But what if we were to change our mindset…..if only for a few minutes, a few hours or even for a few days…..imagine all of the possibilities.

You’re never too old to start living your dream, to try something new……be adventurous…..be fearless. Start living your life like its golden!


Ageless Beauty “Mildred Chestnut” is featured in the May 2015 edition of Essence Magazine.