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Miss England finalist becomes first in pageant’s history to compete without makeup

First ever beauty queen

A Miss England finalist has become the first ever beauty queen to compete without wearing any makeup in the pageant’s nearly century-long history.

Melisa Raouf, a 20-year-old college student from south London, moved forward at the pageant’s semifinals on Monday after opting for a barefaced look. Now, she’ll compete in the finals this October for the crown.
“It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to do so,” Raouf said in an interview with the UK’s Independent newspaper.
“If one is happy in their own skin we should not be made to cover up our face with makeup. Our flaws make us who we are and that’s what makes every individual unique,” she added.

Melisa Raouf will compete in the Miss England final in October. Credit: Kam Murali
Raouf said that, though she started wearing makeup at a young age, she decided to eschew tradition for the pageant.

“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 makeup,” she explained in the interview.
In May, Raouf posted a selfie on Instagram from the “bare face” round of the competition, writing that she was “embracing blemishes and imperfections.”

Angie Beasley, director of Miss England, told in a statement on Friday: “We introduced the Bare Face Top Model round in 2019 as most contestants were submitting highly edited images wearing lots of makeup and we wanted to see the real person behind the makeup.”
According to organizers, Raouf plans to go bare-faced again at the national final in October.
“We wish her the best of luck in Miss England, it’s a very brave thing to do when everyone else is wearing makeup but she’s sending out an important message to young women,” Beasley added.

Angie Beasley, director of Miss England, told CNN in a statement on Friday: “We introduced the Bare Face Top Model round in 2019 as most contestants were submitting highly edited images wearing lots of makeup and we wanted to see the real person behind the makeup.”
According to organizers, Raouf plans to go bare-faced again at the national final in October.
“We wish her the best of luck in Miss England, it’s a very brave thing to do when everyone else is wearing makeup but she’s sending out an important message to young women,” Beasley added.

Raouf relied only on her natural beauty when she appeared at the semi-finals of the competition in London this week, and after “wowing” the judges, she has made it through to the final round. She revealed that she decided to go fresh faced to make a statement on inner beauty in an age of social media obsession: “It was quite a daunting experience but so amazing to win this way.”

The King’s College student said that she has been flooded with positive messages on social media since she made the bold move to hit the catwalk makeup free.

“I’ve had so many girls message me telling me how I’ve made them feel more confident in themselves,” she said. “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.”

The beauty queen-to-be now intends to compete in the finals bare-faced, adding: “I feel like I’ve done it for all girls. I would love to use my Miss England platform to empower natural beauty and eliminate this toxic mindset.”

If this were X-Factor (old school) we would be using ALL our votes on voting for her to win right now, instead though, we will have to wait to see how Raouf does when she takes to the stage alongside 40 other women to find out who will be crowned Miss England on 17 October 17. The final rounds will take place at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry.

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