Melisa Raouf, a Miss England finalist, has made history by being the first beauty queen in the pageant’s 94-year history to participate without wearing make-up.
The 20-year-old college student told the Independent newspaper: “It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear make-up because they feel pressured to do so. If one is happy in their own skin we should not be made to cover up our face with make-up. Our flaws make us who we are and that’s what makes every individual unique.”
Explaining why she decided to skip wearing make-up during the contest, she said: “I never felt I met beauty standards. I have recently accepted that I am beautiful in my own skin and that’s why I decided to compete with no make-up.”
During the semi-finals round, Raouf had also won the ‘bare faced top model’ award.
Raouf will compete alongside 40 women at the Miss England pageant to be held on October 17, and says she’s going to go barefaced for the big day too.
“I’m going to the finals bare faced. I would love to use my Miss England platform to empower natural beauty and eliminate this toxic mindset,” she said.
The politics student also said she hopes her decision will inspire other women and girls: “I’ve had so many girls message me telling me how I’ve made them feel more confident in themselves. With mental health being such a big topic, I want to make all girls feel good. I just want to remove all the beauty standards. I feel like all girls are beautiful in their own way. I feel like I’ve done it for all girls.”