Miss England contestant becomes the first in the pageant’s 94-year history to compete without makeup
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A politics student has wowed the judges of the Miss England beauty pageant by strutting her stuff completely makeup-free.
It's the first time in the pageant's 94-year history that a contestant hasn't used makeup - and Melisa Raouf, 20, ditched it for an important reason.
Raouf relied only on her natural beauty when she appeared at the semi-finals of the competition in London this week.
She has made it through to the final round.
The Battersea woman revealed that she decided to go fresh faced to make a statement on inner beauty in an age of social media obsession.
"It was quite a daunting experience but so amazing to win this way," the 20-year-old student said.
"It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to do so."
She added: "Our flaws make us who we are and that’s what makes every individual unique."
The King's College student said that she has been flooded with positive messages on social media since she made the bold move to hit the catwalk makeup free.
"I’ve had so many girls message me telling me how I've made them feel more confident in themselves," she 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."
She added: "I feel like I’ve done it for all girls."
The 20-year-old revealed that she now intends to compete in the finals 'bare faced'.
"I would love to use my Miss England platform to empower natural beauty and eliminate this toxic mindset," the south London woman said.
She will strut her stuff alongside 40 other women to be crowned Miss England on October 17 at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Coventry.
Organisers of the world-famous pageant had previously introduced a 'bare-face top model' round in 2019.
Miss England organiser Angie Beasley said she introduced the round after becoming shocked at the amount of makeup and filler contestants had.
"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 said.
“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 added: "I wish Melisa the best of luck in Miss England 2022."