The House Of JOY’s Mother’s Day Extravaganza 2012 was a celebration of beauty, elegance and confidence.
By Yong Yung Shin
In the context of beauty pageants where youthfulness is a prized attribute, a woman’s age is typically noted only for administrative purposes. But at the Mother’s Day Extravaganza 2012 held by the House Of JOY on May 19 at ITE College East, it was worn like a badge of honor—the older the contestant, the louder the cheers and catcalls that came from the audience. The audience, as well as the 17 finalists of the beauty pageant were beneficiaries from House Of JOY, the elderly service center of City Harvest Community Services Association.
The midday event kicked off with an icebreaker—a beachball was passed around and a forfeit demanded from the person left holding it when the music stopped. Several rounds of the game and bouts of laughter later, the turnout of over 300 attendees settled in as the judges for the day were announced: Neithlise Tee, the operations manager of Angelface Beauty Center, Miss Earth Singapore Water 2010 Chloe Lo, Mrs. Singapore World 2010/ 2011 Kenny Santika, celebrity Sun Xiao Yun and Darryl Loh, executive director of CHCSA.
The finalists were judged on their appearance, communication skills, personality as well as their performance during the question-and-answer segment. Four titles were up for grabs: Mrs. Classic Queen, Mrs. Best-Dressed, Mrs. Photogenic, and Mrs. Personality.
A video clip segment featuring each finalist performing their talents was then played—some showed off their songbird qualities, while others displayed their seamstress-ing and cooking skills.
Audiences were also treated to a live performance by Cyril, Vanessa and Felicia, a lively trio with guitar and Cajon. The group got everyone singing and clapping along to their covers of evergreen classics like Teresa Teng’s “The Moon Represents My Heart”.
Then came the eveningwear segment, where the contestants paraded in their finest, from glittery evening gowns to sequined cheongsams and kebayas. Despite the fact that most of them were in their 60s and 70s (the oldest contestant was 76-year-old Pang Kiow), these ladies showed off figures that would have put younger women to shame.
“These women really show that beauty that lasts into the golden years is something to be cherished. I’m so proud of each and every one of them for their confidence, elegance and how they have served faithfully as mothers and wives, reminding us not to fret over wrinkles but live each day to the fullest!” said the contestants’ trainer Yuan Wenling, who was Mrs Singapore Queen of Hope 2010/11.
The Mrs. Personality title, determined by popular vote by the audience, went to 58-year-old Pang Seng Mui, who was greeted by loud cheers as she received her award. The big winner of the afternoon, Mrs. Classic Queen, was Chee Bee Geok, 57, who cut a queenly figure in her cream-colored gown with sky-blue sequins.
“In line with our aim to celebrate the selfless love of the mothers and grandmothers among our elderly, we want to bring across the message that they are beautiful, both inwardly and outwardly. Age doesn’t detract from that, it just adds dignity. When they boldly stepped forward to join the pageant and were well-received with loud cheers and thunderous applause, I believe this made a real difference in all their self-esteem and sense of worth,” said Loh.