Melisa Raouf, age 20, is one of the 40 finalists vying for the Miss England title.
Raouf, however, was the first competitor to do so in 94 years and the only one in the pageant competing without any makeup.
She aimed to promote inner beauty and challenge the social media-presented beauty norms.
“It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to do so,” Raouf said.
“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 Contestant with Bare Face
This year’s Miss England contestant is the first to opt out of the Miss England pageant’s bare-face round. Her choice, according to Raouf, was a “daunting but amazing experience.”
In the finals, she also plans to compete without any makeup. When Raouf was young and lacked confidence in her appearance, she started applying cosmetics.
As she explained, “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. 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.”