148. Danish Pageant Beauty Encores at 65
Pia Gronning was runner-up Miss Denmark in 1969, landing leading roles in several Scandinavian movies. Discovered by famed modeling agency executive Eileen Ford in 1973, she moved to New York City and modeled for 13 years for print and broadcast ads, traveling worldwide. Now, at 65, she is a globetrotting model once again.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
In 1969, Pia’s friends urged her to enter the Miss Denmark competition, saying, “It will be fun, and we can all laugh at you!” Pia didn’t know anything about modeling or make-up. “My mom took me to a department store and they taught me how to put make-up on.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Feeling pressure from her father to prepare for “a real job,” Pia enrolled in college. Modeling agencies were enticing her with offers of work. Pulled in two directions, she accepted some gigs. “After filming all day, I would go to my hotel room and I would study to be a school teacher.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“If a barrier is in front of me, I’ll always just go for it. I don’t remember getting support at home. Dad would see my modeling pictures and say, ‘That’s not a real job.’ But there is something in my personality. I don’t give up easily. So, I’ve had some amazing experiences!”
On Her Bookshelf
Fundamentally Female, by motivational speaker Renée Rongen.
(Jennifer’s artwork is included in the global compilation of art by women.)
Connecting With Pia Gronning
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