Politics student Melisa Raouf has just made history, becoming the first Miss England contestant in the beauty pageant’s 94-year existence to ever compete without makeup.
The 20-year-old Raouf wowed the judges of the Miss England beauty pageant at the semi-finals of the competition in London this week with her face completely makeup-free, which she ditched for a very important reason.
In an era where people are obsessed with their appearances on social media, Raouf explained that she chose to stop wearing makeup in order to make a statement about the importance of inner beauty.
“It was quite a daunting experience but so amazing to win this way,” she said.
“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 explained. “I think people should love and embrace their flaws and blemishes, as we know real beauty lies within simplicity.”
Raouf continued by revealing that she has “never felt comfortable” in her own skin with makeup on her face.
“I never felt I met beauty standards,” she said. “I have recently accepted that I am beautiful in my own skin and that’s why I decided to compete with no make-up.”
“I still feel confident in myself, with makeup I’m all concealed. This is who I am, I’m not afraid to share who I am. I wanted to show who Melisa truly is.”
The 20-year-old politics student from King’s College revealed that ever since she made the courageous decision to walk the catwalk without makeup, she has been inundated with supportive messages on various social media platforms.
“I’ve had so many girls message me telling me how I’ve made them feel more confident in themselves,” Raouf 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.”
“I feel like I’ve done it for all girls,” she added.
Melisa Raouf hopes to inspire other women to embrace their natural beauty.
“I would love to use my Miss England platform to empower natural beauty and eliminate this toxic mindset,” the young woman from south London said.
Competing without makeup in London this week, she impressed the judges enough to make it through to the final round.
Melisa Raouf plans to compete “bare faced” at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry on October 17, where she will compete against 40 other ladies to be named Miss England.
“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 organizer Angie Beasley.
“I’m all for makeup to enhance your natural beauty but there’s no need for youngsters to wear It so thick that it looks like a mask,” she said.
“I wish Melisa the best of luck in Miss England 2022.”
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