Ms. Mature becomes a non-event

October 20, 2023

The Ms. Mature Irving competition began in 1982. It was meant to be a celebration of the spirit of the “mature” woman. It was meant to highlight the “positive energy” of the mature woman who has embraced life and endured and possibly laughed as she did it. It was meant to showcase the poise and beauty that shines from within.

It is not a popularity or beauty contest. The Ms. Mature Irving Competition involved (for the event staff) hard work, planning and executing a beautiful event. For the competitors, planning, weeks of practicing, standing in the spotlight before an audience at the Irving Arts Center and giving it your best shot, (hundreds of women competed). You were judged by independent judges after you exhibited your choice of skill, and evening attire and did it with dignity. It was a classy event.

The last Ms. Mature Irving competition was held in 2019, just before Covid turned life as we knew it, upside down. I understand that we live in a “new reality” now and we all have to make adjustments. But did we have to turn a showcase of positivity into a “non-event”?

This year there will not be a Ms. Mature Irving competition held. Instead, the powers that be have decided to relegate this longstanding proud tradition to the stage at the Heritage Senior Center and crown someone who was chosen by default. I was told by persons in the know that “no one else signed up.” I was told by others that they tried to sign up but were told it was too late. How does this equal a celebration of the mature woman?

I believe this tradition has been relegated to the “has been” heap because very few people have stood up for it (myself included) but I am standing up now. I will not be participating in this year’s non-competition because it demeans the spirit of the Ms. Mature Irving Competition and the hundreds of women who competed in previous events. They put themselves out there, faced the competition, faced the audience and lived to tell of it, whatever the outcome.

Instead of telling us that we are not relevant enough to matter by not giving the competition the significance it once held in this community, why don’t those same powers get together and put some real effort into it? This may not be a priority to you but it was a shining moment for the “mature” Citizens of the City of Irving.

Respectfully and in hope of a better tomorrow,

Damaree Agosto-Phillips

Ms. Mature Irving

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