Marissa Teijo, 71, will make history as the oldest contestant in the Miss Texas USA pageant. Teijo joins other contestants in Houston this weekend, with the winner representing Texas in the Miss USA competition.

The Miss Universe organization recently removed age limits for contestants over 18 and now allows women who are married, divorced, or pregnant to compete. Teijo, from El Paso, expressed on Instagram her excitement and hope to inspire women to believe in beauty at any age.

Miss Texas USA’s two-day pageant began Friday at the Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel.

71-Year-Old Woman Makes History as Oldest Contestant in Miss Texas USA
Noelia Voegt relinquished her title as Miss USA last May 06, 2024.

The Miss Universe organization has faced controversy since Noelia Voigt resigned as Miss USA on May 6. Voigt, 24, cited mental health reasons but also accused the pageant’s CEO, Laylah Rose, of fostering a toxic work environment and mishandling a sexual harassment incident, according to NBC News.

Rose responded, emphasizing the importance of well-being for everyone associated with Miss USA. Following Voigt’s resignation, Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava, 17, stepped down, along with Miss USA’s social media manager Claudia Michelle.

Miss USA Savannah Gankiewicz of Hawaii was crowned the new Miss USA 2023 in Voigt’s place and will serve until August when a new winner is announced. Stephanie Skinner, Miss Teen USA runner-up, was offered the crown following Srivastava’s resignation but declined to accept it.