20-Year-Old Miss England Finalist Makes History As Pageant’s First Makeup-Free Contestant

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Melisa Raouf will now compete against 40 other women to be crowned Miss England in October.

A 20-year-old Miss England finalist has become the first ever contestant to compete without wearing any makeup in the pageant’s nearly century-long history.

According to CNN, Melisa Raouf, who is a political student from London, moved forward at the pageant’s semifinals on Monday after opting for a bare-faced appearance. She will now compete against 40 other women to be crowned Miss England in October. 

“Melisa is the first Miss England contestant ever to make it to the final totally make up free, isn’t she gorgeous!” the caption of Miss England’s Instagram post read. 

In an interview with the Independent, Ms Raouf said that she wants to promote inner beauty and challenge beauty ideals perpetuated on social media. “It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to do so,” she said. 

The 20-year-old also added, “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.”

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Further, Ms Raouf, who plans to also forgo makeup for the final, said that it was a “daunting but amazing experience”. She revealed that even 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, adding, “This is who I am, I’m not afraid to share who I am. I wanted to show who Melisa truly is.”

Angie Beasley, director of Miss England, informed that previously makeup-free modelling round to the competition was introduced, but she added that this is the first time anyone has chosen to compete without makeup. 

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Commenting on the 20-year-old’s decision, Ms Beasley said, “I wish Melisa the best of luck in Miss England 2022”. “I’m all for make-up to enhance your natural beauty but there’s no need for youngsters to wear it so thick that it looks like a mask,” she added. 

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