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New Brunswick woman breaks age barrier at Miss Universe Canada competition

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N.B. woman set to break down age barrier at Miss Canada Universe competition
A New Brunswick woman is set to compete in Miss Universe Canada and she’s breaking down the age barrier at the same time. The competition recently removed age restrictions, leaving the door open for many women. Nathalie Sturgeon reports – May 14, 2024

Lorraine Peters knew from an early age she loved fashion, modelling and pageantry.

Now, at 58 years old, she’ll be the oldest woman competing for the Miss Universe Canada crown. Recently, the pageant removed a cap on the age of competitors — which used to be 28 years old.

Peters is originally from St. Stephen, but now lives in Rothesay.

“There was something in me that I knew that I was going to do something meaningful in either pageantry or modelling,” she said. “It’s always just been my thing.”

Over the years, Peters has learned all the ins and outs of being in pageants and what it takes to win. She has the crowns to prove it.

Some of the prizes and crowns Peters has one in her decorated history of pageants. Nathalie Sturgeon / Global News

“In the early days, as a teenager, you really do think it is about the aesthetics of it all, the beauty, the best hair, the makeup, but it isn’t about that,” she said. “You really do start to understand the full scope of it. That it is about your philanthropy, what your broader message is.”

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This time, Peters is breaking the age barrier.

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“This is what I’m there for is to change that narrative,” she said. “I’m so excited to be part of this history-making time where I’m going to have an opportunity to be the physical, intellectual representation at that moment in time for what it looks like to have a woman of age doing something that she wants to do and age plays no factor.”

Many women in the competition are in their 30s and 40s, she explained, all affirming that age is not the restriction that society believes it to be.

One of Peters’ many crowns. Nathalie Sturgeon / Global News

“Women need to be courageous,” she said. “We need girls and women to be out there in their communities, for themselves. It is an epidemic right now of low confidence. I see it all the time.”

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She said many younger women feel fear of stepping out of their comfort zone, while older women often feel dismissed simply because of their age.

“Because society tells them they are not relevant anymore,” she said.

But that is where her journey to the crown begins – showing women of any age, it is possible.

“To be a part of that legacy and at the same time I’m building my own legacy is just an extraordinary experience,” Peters said.

Sixty-four women have been chosen to compete, with the main pageant planned for July.

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