Although magnificence pageants have turn out to be more and more progressive throughout the previous decade, the overarching goal has remained constant: Magnificence, in fact. Beautiful ladies daybreak glowing robes with hair coifffed to the nines, and make-up so flawless, it would as nicely be airbrushed. Perfection.
However sadly, that expectation for perfection isn’t bounded to magnificence pageants — it’s in all places. In truth, it’s so deeply ingrained in society that many individuals have turn out to be desensitized to the falsity of it. Simply look to the numerous filtered faces and altered our bodies that populate Instagram and TikTok.
Miss England magnificence pageant finalist Melisa Raouf is unsubscribing to all of it — not simply on social media, however in actual life, too. In fall 2022, she grew to become the primary contestant to go makeup-free through the Miss England pageant, a 94-year-long custom of perfection. However for Raouf, and so many extra, it’s just the start.
What impressed you to compete with out make-up?
After I took half in Miss England, there have been a wide range of rounds that we needed to take part in, one being the Naked Face Prime Mannequin spherical. Every lady posts an image of herself with no make-up and no filter on in any respect. Collaborating on this spherical made me notice that I do not want make-up or filters to really feel or look lovely. I needed to take that to the subsequent stage and stroll the entire competitors makeup-free, and I hoped to encourage and empower as many ladies as I may.
Your determination to go makeup-free actually has resonated with ladies everywhere in the world. How have you ever felt concerning the public’s response?
I by no means actually anticipated it to go worldwide. I’ve had ladies from of all ages, all throughout the globe saying, “Thanks for doing this, for all of us, to point out that we needn’t uphold society requirements to be lovely.”
We do dwell in a society that perpetuates an unrealistic commonplace of magnificence. How did you escape of that mindset to really feel good in your personal pores and skin?
Rising up, I’ve all the time been very insecure. I felt like I needed to seem like everybody else. However I’ve realized, it’s finally my selection on how I current myself. I’ve nothing in opposition to make-up. Make-up’s a type of artwork; it is a type of creativity; and I nonetheless might proceed to put on it. But when I don’t need to put on make-up, I gained’t.
Over the previous decade, magnificence pageants have acquired backlash for objectifying ladies. Was the choice to not put on make-up a manner of taking your energy again?
Completely. Once you consider magnificence pageants, everybody thinks, it’s simply fairly ladies strolling, parading their seems. However that is the primary magnificence pageant I’ve ever competed in, and I’ve realized it’s a lot greater than that. It is about celebrating femininity, charitable expertise, abilities. It’s all about internal magnificence.
You additionally began the #BareFaceTrendMovement. Inform us about that.
Principally, it’s a motion the place each girl posts an image of themselves with no make-up and no filter on. It is selling that physique confidence and pure magnificence, which has been forgotten for thus lengthy.
Why was it so vital so that you can get others concerned on this no-makeup mission?
So many younger ladies are battling psychological well being points, resembling physique dysmorphia, as a result of unrealistic magnificence requirements set out by social media. It will be nice to only see extra ladies of various races, completely different backgrounds, completely different ages, feeling comfy with who they’re. And I might love to have the ability to encourage that.
Turning into assured is unquestionably a course of — it doesn’t simply occur in a single day. Do you’ve gotten any suggestions for readers on how they will really feel good, simply as they’re?
One factor I might say is magnificence lies inside being your self. That internal confidence will radiate rather more than your outer look will. Don’t be afraid of what others might take into consideration you. What issues is what you consider your self. And always remember that you’ve got a selection on the way you current your self to society. You’re lovely the best way you might be.
Interview by Sonia Baghdady and Cara Glass. To look at the complete episode of Advocate Now with Melisa Raouf, go to advocatechannel.com.