"I've always been intrigued by the pageant concept and the participants," photographer Everett Meissner tells us. "The idea of putting yourself out there to be judged on your appearance, personality and talent is something I think most people try to avoid in their lives." Meissner recently shot a photo series called "Senior Beauty Pageant," featuring AARP-approved beauty queens vying for the tiara instead of twentysomething college students. His images were taken at the Ms. Senior Massachusetts pageant, part of the Ms. Senior America pageant where all participants have "reached the 'Age of Elegance'" (or are 60-years old or more). Below, we take a look at several photos from Meissner's series and hear what he learned about the pageant experience and aging gracefully.

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