Miss England contestant becomes first in pageant's 94-year history to compete makeup free
'It was quite a daunting experience but so amazing to win this way'
A Miss England contestant has become the first woman to compete makeup-free in the pageant's 94-year history, dubbing it a "daunting experience."
Politics student Melisa Raouf, 20, appeared at the semi-finals of the Miss England pageant this week where she competed without any makeup. The risk worked out in the end, and Raouf is now off to the finals.
Taking to Instagram to share her thoughts, she wrote: "It was quite a daunting experience but so amazing to win this way.
"It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to do so.
"Our flaws make us who we are and that's what makes every individual unique," she added.
The King's College student said she has been flooded with positive messages from "so many girls" thanking her for making "them feel more confident in themselves."
She continued: "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."
She will now appear in the finals on October 17 where she also intends to go bare-faced.
The 20-year-old revealed that she also intends to compete in the finals "bare faced." The event, which is being held at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry, will see 40 women compete for the crown.
"This is the first time I've seen a contestant completely makeup free competing in a semi final and she said she felt empowered against all the other contestants," said Miss England organiser Angie Beasley. "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: "I wish Melisa the best of luck in Miss England 2022."