updated 8 May 2012, 23:01
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Mon, Apr 23, 2012
The New Paper
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Elite Mrs Singapore 2011 winner shares photos to inspire women
by Charlene Chua

Businesswoman Irene Lee didn't just win last year's Elite Mrs Singapore pageant - the first ever beauty contest she joined.

She took an age-defying leap recently and posed for her first set of semi-nude photos, at the grand age of 53.

Wasn't she afraid of exposing saggy bits and squishy cellulite - and in high definition no less?

It is more about empowerment and inspiration, Ms Lee told The New Paper.

She said: "I'm sharing my pictures to inspire the women who are married and have kids and have resigned themselves to taking a back seat in life.

"It doesn't have to be taking semi-nude pictures.

"Anything that they attempt to do because they want to (and aren't limited by their status or age) will already be as good as them taking charge of their lives."

She was speaking to the media at the recent unveiling of the finalists for Elite Mrs Singapore 2012, which is for women aged 50 and above.

The local pageant is in its 10th year. The finals will be held at the Singapore Conference Hall on Aug 10.

Ms Lee, an avid dancer, was recently on holiday in Taiwan with her friends when she had the sexy photos taken.

She was originally planning to just take regular photos but changed her mind when she saw the samples of semi-nudes.

Why not take such photos here?

In Singapore, there is the fear of running into the photographer on the streets, she said with a laugh.

She said she was "very comfortable" as the whole shoot, which cost her $6,000, was done professionally.

During the shoot in Taiwan, she was first given a robe and then told to take it off when the shoot began.

The photographer was male and would leave the room in between shots while his female assistant instructed her on the pose for the next shot .

Apart from posing with just a piece of linen or a bouquet of pink flowers strategically covering her, she also donned a sexy swimsuit.

Said Ms Lee: "My take on this is I should do it when I still have it. I'm always game to try anything new and besides and there's nothing criminal about taking semi-nude pictures (no matter one's age).

"I'm a confident person."

She said she was very happy with how the pictures turned out and that her girlfriends were full of praise for the shots.

Ms Lee also said that she doesn't diet and credits her shapely figure to dancing whenever she can. And no, there was no plastic surgery involved.

Said Ms Lee: "I am thankful for what I'm born with, even the imperfections."

She said her decision to do the shoot was well-made.

Ms Lee said: "However, I was pretty apprehensive when I showed the album to my husband and kids. They didn't comment and just looked at them.

"I was actually the most afraid of showing them to my mother who's very conservative. But even she didn't say anything."

Ms Lee is married to local entertainer Jeffrey Gan and this is her third marriage. They met when she took his dance classes and have been hitched for two years.

Her children, a 24-year-old daughter and 23-year-old son, are from her first marriage to her JC sweetheart.

Mr Gan, 65, told The New Paper: "I love the pictures! My favourite, the one with her and the piece of linen, I blew up very big and hung it in my office.

"Some of my staff were surprised when they saw it but my wife has such a good figure so I'm very proud of it. I'm a very modern husband and I will always support my wife in whatever she does."

Ms Lee also adopts a take-charge attitude when it comes to her relationships.

In the 80s and the 90s, Ms Lee was married to a Singaporean (her childhood sweetheart) and an American (whom she met online) respectively.

Ms Lee revealed that she was the one who called off both marriages when she realised that they weren't working out.

In her first marriage, their relationship became rocky after they made it down the aisle.

She had been a Catholic Junior College student when she met her beau from Hwa Chong Junior College.

People change

"People change and you find that you're not the same person you were in school so after a while, we were having huge fights all the time.

"I remember clearly once I saw my maid hugging my kids to comfort them as they could hear us quarrelling very loudly nearby.

"As for my second husband, he was away for work most of the time and ironically he was the one who felt insecure and worried that I'd be up to no good when he was away.

"Trust and never betraying your partner are keys to a good relationship."

Added Ms Lee, who was the finance director of a luxury goods group: "I was very ambitious when I was younger and that also led to the breakdown of my first two marriages.

"I'm determined to make this (third) marriage work."

This article was first published in The New Paper.


Related stories:
At 51, mum of two looks years younger


readers' comments
ok, she is a milf.
Posted by A_Commoner on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 18:08 PM
Hmmm... since have a 24yo dotter ... envy her son-in-law ~ buy 1 get 1 free .... :p :D

At age of 53 .... not bad, can sweat it out without her without dom dom and no need worry she get fertilized .... should be wild and fun ... :D :D
Posted by Small Fly on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 17:02 PM
The wigs spoilt it!
Posted by mystrawberry on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 15:47 PM

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