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Celebrating Women Over 40

From magazines to movies, we're bombarded with women who are young and beautiful. But youth isn't the only game in town anymore. To celebrate fabulous-looking mature women, MORE magazine continues to hold its annual 40+ model search.

This week, 10 finalists, selected from more than 15,000 entries, competed in the final event.

MORE editor-in-chief Peggy Northrop told The Early Show co-anchor Rene Syler that there was a real need to conduct this model search.

"People are looking at women and saying the only beautiful women are in their 20s. We know different," she says. "This is the most beautiful, most fit and healthy and accomplished and stylish generation of women in history."

The amount of entries increased by 50 percent, Northrop notes. Out of those, 10 finalists were treated to an all expense-paid trip to New York City to participate in the fifth annual "MORE Magazine 40+ Model Search," hosted by the magazine and Wilhelmina Models.

Wednesday, Teruko Burrell was chosen as the winner. "I was just stunned," Burrell says, "My competitors are all so beautiful and just wonderful and we had a great time and MORE has been excellent to us. It was a girl's dream come true."

The 45-year-old from Santa Monica, Calif., is a museum administrator. She says, "I work at the Getty museum in California and I've always wanted to model. So I decided why not? When you get to a point in your life, you just feel instead of why, why not?"

For Lynn Waite, the first runner-up, it was actually her daughter who encouraged her to enter.

The 53-year-old Brookfield, Wis., artists says, "This was my third time to enter, so everybody should try more than once. Third time is the charm. My daughter, Ellie, e-mailed me, reminding me I haven't entered. They must have a file they keep of old entrants. They decided give this lady a chance."

And second runner-up Janine Crisera, 42, from Middletown, N.J., says the whole experience has been "overwhelming. The whole experience has been so exciting. I'm thrilled to be here and I just want to thank MORE magazine and Wilhelmina models for giving me this great opportunity."

The three top prize winners get Wilhelmina modeling contracts - worth $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000, respectively. Over $76,000 in prizes are awarded to the 10 finalists. Prizes include Nordstrom gift cards for the three contract winners, Estée Lauder gift baskets, a 1-year supply of Garnier Nutrisse haircolor and haircare accessories, and, for Burrell, a 6-night trip to Rome, Italy, courtesy of Alitalia/Perillo Tours.

"Women over 40 are the best," Northrop says, "I think their best feature is great sense of attitude and confidence they have. You saw it on the runway last night. These women were vamping. They looked fabulous in their gowns and it's a great time of life."

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