Woman became first in Miss England's 94-year history to compete without makeup
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One woman made history after becoming the first in Miss England's 94-year history to compete in the prestigious pageant without any makeup.
Melisa, who was 20 at the time, appeared at the semi-finals in London where she walked the runway without any beauty products on whatsoever
Not only did she break the pageant stereotype, but she bagged herself a spot in the Miss England final.
Melisa, from south London, went on to compete alongside 40 other women for the title.
While Melisa didn't take home the trophy, which awarded to Jessica Gagen on 17 October 2022, she did launch a brilliant #barefacetrendmovement across social media.
The student, who attended King's College London during the contest, explained: "It was quite a daunting experience but so amazing to win this way.
"It means a lot to me as I feel many girls of different ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to do so.
“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."
Melisa went on to explain that she 'never felt comfortable' in her own skin when wearing makeup.
"I never felt I met beauty standards," she added. "I have recently accepted that I am beautiful in my own skin and that's why I decided to compete with no make-up.
"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.
"I'm going to the finals bare faced. I would love to use my Miss England platform to empower natural beauty and eliminate this toxic mindset.
"I’ve had so many girls message me telling me how I've made them feel more confident in themselves.
"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."
The competition previously introduced a 'bare-face model' round but this is the first time someone has entered the full pageant without wearing makeup.
Miss England organiser, Angie Beasley, spoke about the decision to launch the format, saying: "It encourages contestants to show us who they really are without the need to hide behind makeup and filters on social media.
"This round in the contest was introduced back in 2019 as we were receiving so many entry images from contestants covering their faces with thick make up and using filters.
“Since then contestants post their images on social media to enter this round.
"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.
“I'm all for make up to enhance your natural beauty but there's no need for youngsters to wear It so thick that it looks like a mask."
In a pinned post on Melisa's Instagram page, the 'bare face top model' penned: "I did not expect my story to spread globally as it has done, but I am delighted that it has, and I hope that it can make a difference to so many women and girls."
She added: "Moving forward, I hope to continue promoting the #barefacetrendmovement to help empower women of all ages to feel confident in their own skin, without feeling as if they have to conceal their self by wearing makeup in order to conform to societal pressures.
"Although I do still believe that it is okay to use makeup, we should not let makeup define our appearance."
Melisa concluded: "Wearing makeup should not be the default option, but a choice and women should be able to embrace their differences."