The finalist of the Miss England pageant became the first in the history of the pageant to perform without makeup.

Written Jacqui PalumboToyin Owoseje, CNN

The Miss England finalist became the first beauty queen to compete without makeup in the pageant’s nearly 100-year history.

Melisa Rauf, a 20-year-old college student from south London, reached the semi-finals of the competition on Monday by choosing a bare face. She will now compete in the final this October for the crown.

“It means a lot to me as I feel like a lot of girls of all ages put on makeup because they feel like they are being forced to do it,” Rauf said in an interview. interview with British newspaper Independent.

“If someone is happy in their own skin, we should not be forced to cover our face with makeup. Our flaws make us who we are, and that’s what makes each person unique,” she added.

Melisa Rauf will compete in the Miss England final in October. Credit: Kam Murali

Rauf said that although she started wearing makeup at a young age, she decided to forgo the pageant tradition.

“I never felt like I lived up to beauty standards. Recently, I admitted that I am beautiful in my own skin, and therefore decided to compete without makeup, ”she explained in an interview.

In May Rauf published an Instagram selfie from the “naked face” stage of the contest, which says she “accepts flaws and imperfections”.

CNN contacted Rauf for further comment.

Melisa Rauf says she "resignation to shortcomings and imperfections."

Melisa Rauf says she “accepts flaws and imperfections.” Credit: Kam Murali

Angie Beasley, director of the Miss England pageant, told CNN on Friday: “We submitted the top bare-faced round of 2019 as most of the contestants submitted heavily edited images with lots of makeup and we wanted to see the real person behind the makeup. .”

According to the organizers, Rauf plans to again go naked for the national final in October.

“We wish her the best of luck at the Miss England pageant, it’s a very brave thing to do when everyone is wearing makeup and she sends an important message to young women,” Beasley added.

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