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Miss England Finalist Makes History by Being the First to Compete Makeup

Melissa Raouf, at just 20 years old, makes a statement that most 50-year-old women refuse to understand. Beauty is natural. While participating in Miss England’s beauty pageant with no makeup on, she reveals that: “Women are pressured to look a certain way because of society’s narrow perception of beauty and perfection…”

Melissa Raouf’s goal is to inspire girls and women who have been victims of insecurity due to the fact that we live in a society that profits off them by marketing beauty products with photoshopped images and filling beauty pageants with women’s cosmetically altered faces. When taking this into consideration, why wouldn’t one think that beauty is synonymous with distortion? However, Melissa Raouf opens their eyes by becoming the first competitor in the 94-year history of the beauty pageant to compete without makeup.

She challenges a 102-year-old tradition (since the first true beauty pageant in 1921) by throwing away all the unspoken rules and starting from scratch. Beautifully portraying that beauty is a relative concept.

As opposed to what some people call the ‘no makeup’ look, or a ‘no-makeup makeup trend, which usually takes more work to achieve and can cost about 340 dollars worth of makeup, Raouf opted for an actual revolutionary bare face. Showing not the appearance of a face with no makeup but an actual face with no makeup. With this, Melissa Raouf started a #barefacetrendmovement, embarking on what some call a beauty revolution.

And even though the crown went to Jessica Gagen, an aerospace engineering student who will now compete for the title of Miss World, I believe Raouf still reached her goal of spreading a message, which can be seen in her closing statement: “For far too long, women have been pressured to look, act or behave in a certain way, and I believe it’s time for a change: to show women no matter your age, no matter your background, we are beautiful the way we are,”

She represents many women whose modeling careers are cut short due to a one-dimensional perspective of beauty. Women whose physical insecurities arise due to what society tells them, that beauty is unnatural and can only be presented in one way, much like Lou Northcote, who claimed to have been dropped by her agency at 16 when she started getting acne.Melissa Raouf considered herself one of the victims of the wrongly perceived definition of beauty. She used to spend three hours perfecting her makeup to meet the unrealistic beauty standards society puts upon us. However, she has realized that “inner confidence will radiate far much more than any makeup or filter can.”


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