Published July 01, 2011
Whoever said 40 was "over the hill" better check out these ladies.
Celebrating beauty at any age, the nationwide Wilhelmina 40+ Model Search winner was revealed Thursday night at Macy’s in New York City.
Acknowledging that 40 is fabulous, 41-year-old, Jacqueline Depaul from California was awarded a modeling contract with the world-renowned Wilhelmina modeling agency, a three day trip to NYC, a $1,000 Macy's gift card, a style makeover by Dancing with the Stars Costume Designer Randall Christensen, and $1,000 worth of Estee Lauder cosmetics.
Depaul said she is so excited for her chance to fulfill her dream of becoming a model. “At 38 is when I decided to try something like this,” she told FOX411.com.
Her advice for women her age is to take some time for yourself, “even if it's an hour a day, you have a right to take care of your own person.”
Celebrity stylist Robert Verdi hosted the fashionable event, pointing out that “whoever just said those 20-year-olds are hot, just found out you were wrong.”
Women often dread approaching the next milestone in their life. Well, fret no more. The 10 finalists, ranging in age from 40 to 54, strutted their stuff in bathing suits and "Dancing With the Stars" costumes designed by judge Randall Christensen.
Verdi described Depaul as a “Countess look-alike” referring to Luann de Lesseps, the countess from "The Real Housewives of New York.”
So what’s her secret? It’s not plastic surgery. "There's no free ride. You have to eat a good diet and exercise. It doesn't just happen by itself." Depaul said. "I haven’t cut anything or lifted anything.”
Judge Randall Christensen, costume designer for "Dancing With the Stars," said a natural beauty that was just what he was looking for in a winner.
"I think the experience she has in her life only magnifies her beauty. She was an absolute natural, 100 percent beautiful," Christensen told Fox 411.
The search for confident, beautiful and inspirational women over the age of 40, was presented by Miraclesuit, a brand of control swimwear, which also gave the winner a $1,000 Miraclesuit wardrobe and photo shoot.
To enter the contest these fabulous 40-year-old women showed just how brave they are by shedding their clothes and putting on a Miraclesuit swimsuit for photographers at local Macy’s stores across the country for all to see.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges that also included model and TV host Roshumba Williams.
"In the Wilhelmina model search, we were looking for a woman who embodied the essence of class, sophistication, and elegance and of course in the package of the 40 plus," Roshumba told Fox 411. “This new 40 plus generation is basically ruling the world, it will be interesting to see what 50 has to offer, what 60 has to offer. So I'm just going to enjoy every moment of being 40 plus.”