Miss England contestant, Melissa Raouf, has brought the spotlight to the competition after becoming the first contestant to compete without makeup. In its 94 year history the pageant has never had a bare-faced contestant, and the move has gained Raouf a flood of support on social media.
The 20-year-old politics student from London decided to enter the competition sans makeup, as she felt it would be a good platform to promote inner beauty and challenge the standard social media perception of beauty.
“It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to do so,” Raouf told The Independent.
“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.
“I think people should love and embrace their flaws and blemishes, as we know real beauty lies within simplicity.”
The Miss England pageant introduced a Bare Faced round to the competition in 2019. This round is an optional round, which was added by organiser Angie Beasley, who says it encourages women “to show us who they really are without the need to hide behind makeup and filters on social media”. This is the first time that a contestant has completely forgone makeup.
“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,” Beasley says, whilst adding that she wished her luck in the 2022 competition.