Becoming a Model at 61 | Inspiring Seniors, Part 2

In today’s installment of the Inspiring Seniors Series, we’re uncovering the stories behind a very strong women – Sandra LaMorgese.

At the age of 61, Sandra started a completely new career as a lifes

tyle model and actress in New York City – after losing 50 pounds.

And at the age of 63, Mickie started a new business, and just a year later, she married her long lost love – a man she lost touch with for over 50 years.


For the past 6 years, Sandra worked as writer – and she was quite successful.

She worked her way up to being a featured international HuffPost blogger, and she became one of the Top 10 sought-after writers on Medium.

“The only thing with writing is that it’s very isolating. I was ready for a change,” she says.

And change she did.


Last year, Sandra decided to lose 50 pounds. “A friend of mine said to me, ‘You’re 60 years old, and you’re healthy. But what happens when you’re 70?’ I just started thinking about it and realized I wanted to be healthy my whole life.”

Sandra wasn’t losing the weight to look a certain way, either. “It wasn’t about body image, believe me. I loved my curves.”

For her, it was all about being and staying healthy for as long as possible.

Sandra at Penn State Fitness

Around the same time Sandra decided to lose the weight, her HuffPost editor mentioned that models over 60 years old are the ‘in thing’ these days.

That got Sandra thinking, and she started doing research. She found that a ton of mature women and men do professional modeling.

“I thought it was crazy. Everyone thought it was crazy. I mean everyone… they all said the same thing, that there was no way I could lose 50 pounds over 60 years old. And I didn’t even tell them about the modeling idea yet, because I knew they would just jump off the bridge!”

But the pushback she got from the people in her life gave Sandra the drive she needed.

She lost the weight by training about 2 hours every day, but she had no interest in doing the intense workouts she did when she was young. “I wanted to try to find something that appealed to me now. I’ve mellowed out.”

So she started walking, jogging, and attending pilates, yoga, and strength training programs – and she lost the weight.

But it was also a combination of healthier, conscious eating that helped her reach that 50-pound weight loss goal. “I got out of denial. I got a scale and that freaked me out – it opened my eyes.”

After that, Sandra’s secret was measuring and weighing her food. “I didn’t even realize how much food I was eating. You just throw oil on your salad and eat things mindlessly without measuring. Once I started measuring, I still had enough, but it was a lot less calories, and I was creating a deficit.”

But it was never about “dieting.” It was just about being conscious. Back in the day, Sandra wouldn’t think twice about getting a double cheeseburger with bacon and a couple beers, but now? “Forget it,” she says. “Maybe on a free day or something.”


The weight loss helped Sandra feel like she could compete in the modeling industry. She hired a professional photographer in Manhattan, and she sent her photos to 100 modeling agencies all over the world.

“I actually signed 3 modeling agencies!” Sandra says.

Sandra also works with Shutterstock, one of the top stock photography websites on the internet. “They actually contacted me,” Sandra says. “They found my profile on one of the modeling and acting websites, and they asked me to work for them.”


After the representative contacted Sandra, they set up a SkinCeuticals photo shoot. Shortly after, Sandra packed her stuff and went to Connecticut for the shoot. “Everything is online now – everything is global. You don’t have to necessarily be in any type of area. New York or LA is ideal, but people need photo shoots everywhere.”

As far as posing in front of the camera, Sandra said there’s nothing to worry about. “The photographer knows what they’re looking for. They pose you. They’ll move your shoulder here, they’ll tell you to drop your chin there. They guide you through it.”

As for being a 61-year-old model in a world full of 20-somethings, Sandra says her age is a huge advantage.

“I can’t even seek more jobs out right now because I’m so busy. Women do not realize their value – not everyone in this world is young. We have so much to offer! I don’t know if middle-aged women realize this. I didn’t – I’m just shocked,” she says.

Now, Sandra’s goal is to inspire people. “The value of our lives are still there after 60. I feel like I’m just getting started. I honestly do. You can do anything!”


And retirement? It’s not in the picture at all for Sandra. “Why bother? Why? It doesn’t make any sense to me to retire. And do what?”

In Sandra’s opinion, the thought of retirement is synonymous with losing purpose, which she says is a huge part of staying young.

“[Retirement] is what makes people get sick – cancer, obesity, illnesses. They’re working in a job that they hate, and they force themselves to go there every day. Just to get their social security at the end. People don’t really understand that you’re more in control of your life than that.”

Nowadays, Sandra is balancing her new modeling career with acting. She’s in the play The Vagina Monologues, and she’s doing a feature film. “I get to be killed at the end, which is totally awesome,” she says.

Sandra LaMorgese

Sandra’s plans for the future beyond what she’s already doing is to write a 3rd book, but even that feels difficult to plan.

“I don’t put any boundaries or limitations on my growth. But I feel like something great is going to happen. And I’m not sure what it is, but I’m ready for it.”

– All of Sandra’s photo credits go to Josefina Photography –