Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Beth Buczkowski has never lost confidence on stage with her sultry voice. But for 50 years, she was always intimidated by her looks.
"Since I turned 30, I never told people how old I was," Buczkowski said. "I kept it at 29, and my kids were always razzing on me and then I moved it to 39."
So it caught the Endicott voice teacher by surprise when People Magazine asked to have her face grace their pages.
"It was a huge step for me to just come out and say look, 'Hey, I'm 51, I'm happy about it, I'm proud of it as a person, and I don't mind sharing it with the world,'" Buczkowski said.
Buczkowski was one of four women selected as the magazine's "real beauties." The women represented each age group in decades 20s to 50s.
People Magazine searched for women who showed beautiful qualities both inside and out.
When the 51-year-old mother of three was selected for her age group, Buczkowski said some looked to her as an inspiration.
"I started getting notes on Facebook," she said, "And women were saying, 'We're so proud of you and thanks because you're inspiring me to grow old gracefully.' I never really thought of it like that."
Her friend Lou Ligouri from the EPAC Theater Company always knew Buczkowski was more than meets the eye.
"Why did it take them so long to figure it out?" Ligouri said. "Beth's a quadruple threat. She can sing, she can act, she can dance and she's a very very good person."
For Buczkowski, who only had a subscription to People a couple weeks before the contest, it wasn't about winning.
"And to just say I'm really happy inside and proud of the person I am, and I'm ready to share that with my friends and my family," she said. "I had no idea I'd be sharing it nationwide."
She said it was simply about being Beth Buczkowski.