What’s the Deal with Fab Over 40?

An email said I was selected as a contestant in the Fab Over 40 competition.

Cautiously optimistic, my momentary excitement was replaced by a twisting sensation in my gut…

I’ve been scammed before.

Is this really a contest about being fabulous or is it something else?

While this competition CAN be used as offer an opportunity to promote yourself on social media; it could also be a catalyst for any woman struggling with mental health &/or the external need for validation.

The Fab Over 40 is a legitimate competition giving 2.2M$$ to NBCS in 2021.

But let’s be honest, in this situation, the word ‘competition’ is loosely defined.

If you do the research, it’s quite easy to discover the names behind

Secondary to the REAL (sort-of) Contest are Scammers

Individuals with no moral compass seek out opportunities like Fab Over 40. Following the hashtag to find opportunities to prey on older women & make a payday!

Instagram is full of scammers, using #Fabover40 to find you and offer votes, guaranteeing your ‘win’, more subscribers, more likes, etc.

Throughout history women have been victims and today still remain a target on social media.

The rundown on how voting competitions work.

To win a Colossal competition, one must ‘leverage the power of social media and word-of-mouth advertising to garner the support of the public to collect votes.’

There’s nothing nefarious about it. Colossal Management is simply using the power of social media to exploit our inner need for validation. It’s a popularity contest where you can buy your way to the top.

Obsessing over votes through ’rounds of competition’ is akin to the desire to collect ‘friends’ or get ‘likes’ on Facebook.

Sure, someone will win that grand prize but who is winning the most here?

WHO runs Fab Over 40?

After the cost of the competition, REMAINING proceeds do support the National Breast Cancer Foundation. But the first to cut goes to Colossal Management for managing the competition. Then the non-profit (DTCare) receives 1% as they are the official company behind Fab Over 40.

Just to clarify, New Beauty Magazine does NOT run the Fab Over 40 Competition.

Adrienne Maples ; self portrait.

Colossal Management LLC operates the competition, raising money via public online voting. They were hired by ‘charitable grantmaker, DTCare. Colossal is a nationally registered professional fundraiser that purchased space in NewBeauty Magazine that will be used to feature the winner.

I attempted to reach someone who represents Fab Over 40 to discuss; yet I’ve been unable to locate or receive the name of anyone for questions? I’ve received a brief email response ‘there is no phone number’. I also reached out to one of the social media promoters, Sheree Frede, who simply replied ‘Yes it’s legit.’

According to the Fab Over 40 Website: the qualifying message isn’t clear?

Fab Over 40 is an annual competition inviting women over forty from around the world to compete for a 2-page ad feature in New Beauty Magazine and a $40,000 cash prize. The winner experiences a professional, glamorous photoshoot and an exclusive interview for the magazine feature.

Fab Over 40

But that doesn’t mean I’m not already fabulous.

Social media can make us feel ‘less than’ and I feel this type of competition capitalizes on that.

For now, I’m choosing to see this ‘competition’ as an opportunity to speak a little truth!

Photo by the very talented Paul Verslius.

Q:: What makes you fabulous over 40?

Beauty isn’t measured in years. True beauty is found when you are willing to learn from your mistakes, accept accountability and vow to do better as you move forward.

Q:: What is your favorite tip to stay fabulous?

Enjoy a nap whenever you can and put your mental health FIRST.

Accept your beauty is unique & unworthy of comparison. Don’t listen to the ‘trolls’ in life OR online.

When you stumble, and you WILL, forgive yourself- remember joy is on the other side of pain. Put your energy where it belongs, in YOU! Love and nurture yourself by using safe & luxurious products. Learn to be grateful for your past & the lessons it taught you.

Q:: What advice would you give your younger self?

You are responsible for your own happiness.

Discover ways to be content in life without relying on the approval of others. Find out who YOU are! Use mistakes as opportunities to grow and never let anyone tell you who you should be.

You aren’t ‘too much’-

Be true to yourself and your passions will lead your heart where it belongs.

Q:: What would you do with $40,000?

If I won $40k, I’d invest 65% back into my business. Funding the purchase of equipment to grow my team and expand services.

Another 20% would be used to support and prompt other local Kansas City business leveraging the exposure to benefit local, female run companies.

The remaining funds would be donated to Screen Sanity (formally We Start Now), a local Kansas City organization created to ‘help families across America pursue digital health in order to reduce loneliness, depression, anxiety and suicide in a socially isolated society’. 

xoxo adrienne signing off


the Photographer

Adrienne Maples


Kansas City photographer, Adrienne Maples, weaves together powerful narratives with her photographs to create mood and evoke emotion.


She's an AI enthusiast, passionate about teaching others how to use technology responsibly for the greater good. Known for her 'spunk & pizazz', she directs from behind her camera, finding impromptu designing to transform mediocrity into the extraordinary.


She a board member of AIGA and KCAC. As a committee member of KCDW, she organized the 2024 talks: The A.I. Asset, Creator as Curator.

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*bw photo by Sara Brennen-Harrell

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