As we reported earlier this month, international modeling agency Wilhelmina Models is on the hunt for models over 30 to represent today's woman. The public voted online, and the hunt has been narrowed to 10 finalists -- five of which are 45+.

Surprised? We aren't. The contestants -- from audience favorite Peggy Gregory to the sassy Michele Torres -- are naturally gorgeous and vibrant.

They also have more going on for them than just their winning looks. Four of the five women answered a few of Huff/Post50's "Big Life Questions," sharing their biggest regrets, and what they know now that they wish they knew when they were younger, among other topics. Click through our slideshow to learn more about the finalists.

The finalists will be featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, and the winner will be revealed at the June 27 finale in New York City, sponsored by Macy's and Miraclesuit. Judges include Roshumba Williams, Stacey Fuller VP of Wilhelmina, Bruce Waldman of Miraclesuit and Adam Glassman of O Magazine.


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  • Darlene McElveen, 50

    <em>What's the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were growing up?</em> I wish I knew the importance of establishing yourself in a personally fulfilling career before getting married. <em>At this stage of life, what's the one rule you feel you can break with impunity?</em> The rule to be friends with everyone -- friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

  • What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

    Stay in the present time, don't focus on the past which you can not change and don't worry about the future which has not happened yet <em>What is the riskiest thing you've done in your life since you've turned 45?</em> At age 48, I moved back to my home state of South Carolina after living and raising my kids in downtown Chicago for 28 years.

  • What is your biggest regret and greatest accomplishment?

    My biggest regret is I got married too young at age 21. My children are by far my greatest accomplishment.

  • Michele Torres, 53

    <em>At this stage of life, what's the one rule you feel you can break with impunity?</em> "Obey all rules!" From Deputy Barney Fife's infamous "Here At The Rock" speech. <em>What is the riskiest thing you've done in your life since you've turned 45?</em> I joined a Motown show band called "Dance Out Loud" as their lead singer and subsequent roadie -- toting equipment in and out of venues at 2 a.m. is not for the faint of heart.

  • What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

    Go into every meeting or discussion with a slip of paper in your pocket that says "Maybe they're right". Refer to it often. Oh...and learn to type. <em>What's the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were growing up?</em> I understand now, that I come from an extraordinary family. I sensed it as a child, I KNOW it as an adult and I am humbled by them.

  • What is your biggest regret and greatest accomplishment?

    Biggest regret: The summer cocktail of baby oil and iodine...applied daily. Biggest accomplishment: The satisfaction of knowing I gave it everything I had, no matter how painful the loss or how joyous the victory. I was 100 percent there.

  • Peggy Gregory, 52

    <em>What's the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were growing up?</em> Listen and be still. As I have gotten older, I realize it is very important to listen before you act and let the Lord take care of things. <em>At this stage of life, what's the one rule you feel you can break with impunity?</em> I enjoy fine dining and eating at five-star restaurants, so I do it and I enjoy it -- without guilt. I am 52 years old and exercise by power walking and taking Zumba classes to control my weight.

  • What is the riskiest thing you've done in your life since you've turned 45?

    Hotel crashing was the riskiest thing I've done in my life since I've turned 52. I laid out by the hotel's pool and utilized the spa services as if I was a hotel guest. I got a massage and a facial. In my defense, a friend who was visiting from out of town was staying at the hotel. However, the friend was in meetings all day and not around when I used any of the services.

  • What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?

    When I read this question to my sister, we both said at the same time -- "Keep your mouth shut." Needless to say, it's self explanatory and it has kept me and my siblings out of a lot of trouble with others all our lives. Thanks Daddy! <em>What is your biggest regret and greatest accomplishment?</em> My biggest regret in life I <em>always</em> experience is when I don't follow my first instinct. When I follow my heart things always flow and go as they are suppose to -- positively. My greatest accomplishment is entering this model search contest. I have always put others needs and concerns before my own. So me seizing this opportunity is huge.

  • Sharon Elliot, 47

    <em>At this stage of life, what's the one rule you feel you can break with impunity?</em> Rules, what are the rules? I don't really look at my life as having hard and fast rules at any stage. If I have to choose something it would be the self imposed rule that I have to please everyone all the time. At this stage of my life I realize it's not possible and that I need to focus on myself and my family.

  • What is the riskiest thing you've done in your life since you've turned 45?

    Scuba diving in the Keys when there was a jellyfish infestation. Actually I didn't know about the jellyfish until we were already in the water. Once we were under it wasn't too bad, however my son grew tired and kept surfacing so I ended up surfacing as well and swimming him back to the boat, pushing my way through the jellyfish. We were both stung from head to toe and sick for days.

  • What's the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were growing up?

    Everything's going to turn out fine.

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