If you are passionate about the beauty pageant industry, you’ll want to hear about a woman who has made history in the U.K. and is redefining beauty standards within the pageant world.
Melisa Raouf is a 20-year-old student studying politics from South London, England. She is currently making waves and headlines after becoming the first contestant to ever compete in the final round of the Miss England pageant with no makeup on.
The pageant, which has been put on for almost 100 years, has a “bare-face round” where the contestants do not wear any makeup.
Most contestants who make it into the final round of the competition complete it with makeup on, but after winning the “bare-face round,” Melisa is choosing to continue to keep her face clear.
“For so long, I felt as if I was never complete without wearing makeup,” Melisa said in an Instagram post. “Only very recently have I accepted that inner confidence will always shine far more radiantly than any amount of makeup, and doing so has been liberating.”
Melisa will compete with 40 contestants in the contest’s final round on October 17th. Her choice to complete the competition without makeup is the first time a contestant has ever chosen to do so.
In an interview with BBC News, Melisa mentions the “unrealistic standard of beauty” found on social media these days and how it has been harmful to her mental health. She hopes to inspire others to be comfortable in their skin.
“I just thought, I’m doing this for all of us,” she told BBC News.
Instagram; pictured above is Melisa