Miss England: London finalist Melisa Raouf ditches make-up in beauty pageant

Presenter Duncan Golestani asked Miss England finalist Melisa Raouf why not wearing make-up was so important

A finalist in this year's Miss England beauty pageant is ditching make-up to show women they don't have to live up to "unrealistic standards".

London politics student Melisa Raouf said women felt too much pressure to conform and she wanted to show everyone they have a choice.

"Often in today’s society women are expected to conform to unrealistic beauty standards," Melisa told ITV News.

"So that’s why I pose make-up free to show women it’s a choice, you don’t need to conform to these beauty ideals and it's meant a lot to me doing this," she explained.

The King's College London student won the 'bare face' round of the Miss England competition to progress through to the final.

Miss England finalist Melisa Raouf said inner confidence was more important than make-up Credit: Images taken at the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences Londn by Kam Murali

Melisa said women, and particularly young girls, faced huge pressure to look good on social media and she was worried about the impact on mental health.

She added: "I can relate being in my early teens just looking at all these girls on social media using filters and make up.

"With mental health being such a big topic at the moment I think we need to work on that and help young people as much as we can to not conform to these beauty standards."

'Inner confidence'

The London student said doing politics helped boost her confidence through public speaking and she hoped her positive message would be spread around the world.

"I believe inner confidence will shine much more than any make up can and I think all those girls are beautiful with or without make-up," Melisa said.

"[Not wearing make-up] is a message I want to deliver to the whole world that inner beauty will always shine much more and I’ve received a positive reception," she added.

Contestants vying to be crowned this year's Miss England Credit: Images taken at the Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences Londn by Kam Murali

The Miss England competition also aims to emphasise the importance of charity work and the event has raised more than £1m for children’s charities in the last few years.

The winner is sent to represent England in the Miss World Contest which first began in 1952 and is shown on 120 countries.

"There are lots of specific rounds we need to compete in but I’ll stick by my message of no make-up and hoping to spread positive energy and messages around the world," Melisa said.

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