Melisa Raouf, 20, is one of 40 finalists competing for the title of Miss England. Conversely, Raouf was the only candidate in the pageant who did not wear makeup, the first in 94 years. She wanted to promote inner beauty and challenge the beauty standards prevalent on social media.

“That means a lot to me since I believe many females of various ages wear makeup because they feel pressured to,” Raouf remarked. “If one is pleased in their flesh, we should not be pushed to cover up our face with makeup.

Our defects shape who we are, and this is what distinguishes each individual. I believe people should accept and adore their imperfections and defects because true beauty lies in simplicity.”

The Miss England pageant has a bare-face round, but this is the first time a contender has chosen to go without makeup. Raouf described her decision as a “daunting but incredible experience.” She hopes to participate without any makeup for the finals as well.

Raouf began wearing cosmetics when she was young because she was self-conscious about her appearance. “I never felt I met beauty standards,” she explained. “I recently realized that I am gorgeous in my natural flesh, so I opted to compete without makeup.”

“I’m still confident in myself, even when completely covered up with cosmetics. This is who I am; I’m not afraid to tell who I am. “I wanted to present Melisa for who she is.”

Throughout the pageant, many girls and women rallied behind Raouf, who had inspired them to be more secure in their skin. “Mental health is such a hot topic, I want to help all females feel wonderful. I want to be free of all beauty standards. I feel like I’ve done it for all girls because I believe all girls are beautiful in their way.” Throughout the pageant, Raof promotes youth mental health and has championed Papyrus, a UK organization that works to prevent teenage suicide.

Angie Beasley, the Miss England pageant’s organizer, started the bare-faced round in 2019 after noticing that most contenders submitted heavily-edited photos with layers of makeup.

She wanted the round to urge women “to show us who they truly are without the need to hide behind makeup and filters on social media”. Contestants had to publish a bare-faced photo of themselves on their social media profiles to compete.

“We wish her the best of luck in Miss England,” Beasley said of Rauf. “It’s a pretty daring to do when everyone else is wearing cosmetics, but she’s giving out an important message to young women.”

Body image is how a person thinks and feels about their own body. Several factors, such as beliefs, experiences, and generalizations, could influence this perception.

People have historically valued beauty, and these standards have changed over time. Nowadays, social media and popular culture propagate modern standards, which can significantly impact people’s body images.

A negative body image indicates a person is generally dissatisfied with their appearance. They may compare themselves to others, which makes them feel inferior. They may feel compelled to keep track of their physique and frequently use a scale, measurements, or a mirror.

They may also be self-conscious and ashamed of their bodies. A bad body image often leads to unnecessary procedures, unhealthy weight loss behaviors, and mental health problems.

Body images can be influenced by messages from society, family, friends, and the media. Particularly in the fashion and beauty sectors, harmful views of what is deemed attractive are promoted.

Many people are taught that a perfect appearance is unnatural and unrealistic. Many only publish their most flattering photographs on social media, which has become an issue.

This leads to false expectations of how bodies should look. In 2018, a small study demonstrated an association between poor body image/disordered eating and time on social media, primarily when individuals viewed content centered on appearances, like a model or fitness instructor.

But, if utilized appropriately, social media can help create a positive body image. If someone feels worse about themselves after scrolling, disconnect for a few hours, days, or weeks. Taking a break can significantly improve one’s mood.

Unfollow accounts that make you feel inadequate and harmful, and instead, follow those that make you feel good. Find a network of people also changing their ideas regarding beauty standards.

Many body-positive Instagram accounts explore the realities of these expectations and offer advice on how to feel better in one’s skin. Influencers such as Miss England finalist Melisa Raouf advocate inner beauty.

A person has a good body image when they are comfortable with their looks and have a healthy relationship with their body. It entails having a broad understanding of beauty, enjoying their own body, and caring for their body in wholesome and pleasurable ways.

Generally, it indicates that a person is working to improve their relationship with their looks, regardless of external factors. Many people will accept their bodies once they have achieved their ideal appearance, but this is not always true. Body admiration can and should be encouraged regardless of one’s appearance.