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Mrs. Classic Universe Jennifer Lynn Robinson is a 40-plus beauty queen from Pennsylvania

Elizabeth Wellington, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Fashion Daily News

Jennifer Lynn Robinson’s road to Mrs. Classic Universe, an international pageant that crowns women over 40 beauty queens, started 14 years ago when she was hit by a truck.

Robinson, a trial lawyer for AAA Mid-Atlantic, was headed to a routine doctor’s appointment in May 2008, when she hit the ground. “I tried to get up, but I couldn’t,” said Robinson. “I saw flashes of my life.”

Robinson suffered several broken bones in her face, eight broken ribs, and a collapsed lung. Her left eye hemorrhaged, and she lost her peripheral vision. She tore her Achilles tendon and needed four surgeries to repair it. Robinson spent a week in the University of Pennsylvania’s intensive care trauma unit and more than a year in physical, cognitive, and speech therapy. She lost her balance and suffered a mild, traumatic brain injury.

Six months after the accident — and despite doctors’ warnings — Robinson went back to work part-time, but she never returned to trial law.

In 2012, she started her first business as a fundraising and events consultant. That business evolved into Purposeful Networking, where she teaches business professionals and corporate leaders how to turn on the charm in social settings. Three years later she decided to try her hand at public speaking because she missed connecting with people. She landed hundreds of corporate gigs and gave a virtual TEDx talk at the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 2020.

In 2021, she decided to enter the Mrs. Classic Universe pageant, and last summer she won.


“Her story and her willingness to share it is what makes Jennifer a wonderful Mrs. Classic Universe,” said Lynda Samuels, executive director of the Arizona-based Classic Universe franchise. “She didn’t look at herself and think, ‘I don’t have what it takes.’”

These days Robinson is a regular on Philadelphia red carpets and at swanky style parties in her crown and gold-trimmed sash. We recently chatted over lunch and discussed survival, life’s unexpected pivots, and Robinson’s pageant near-meltdown.

Answers have been edited for clarity.

Q: Why would a woman with no beauty pageant experience want to do one in her 40s?


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