Miss England has launched a completely makeup-free round for the first time in the pageant’s history – to support body positivity and natural beauty and here at GLAMOUR HQ, where we champion both of those, we are seriously here for it.
Heats are currently being held for the pageant with just 54 contestants competing in a series of challenges before the winner is chosen to represent the country at the next Miss World.
As a new initiative for 2019, organisers have challenged entrants to submit photographs of themselves with no makeup, filters or editing – after being left shocked by the amount of young contestants turning to injectables such as fillers.
The winner of the ‘Bare Face Top Model’ round will then be fast-tracked through to the final 20 in the contest.
Discussing the new decision, Miss England director Angie Beasley said: “Recently we have been shocked to see Miss England contestants as young as 19 undergoing lip filler treatments and even Botox, and so many entering with full faces of thick makeup covering their natural beauty.
“We tell the girls they don’t need fillers, fake eyelashes and tattooed brows to enter our contest, but it just shows what a damaging effect edited social media images can have on young women’s self-esteem and mental health.
“The difference between what impressionable women see on social media and TV and reality is getting out of hand, which is why we decided to launch this round for the first time in the pageant’s history – to address this serious issue.
“More than 20,000 young women entered Miss England this year, and it is really important for us to promote real beauty and body positivity.
“I hope going forward, the introduction of this round will encourage our contestants to wear less makeup overall.
“If you look at our Miss England former winners, most are natural beauties compared with many of the usual celebrities, which provides a much more positive role model for young women.”
A scout from London modelling agency, Fascia Models, will also study bare-faced images of the finalists.
Current Miss England Alisha Cowie, from Newcastle, often goes without makeup in selfies on social media and said of the decision: “On social media we have influencers and role model which set an unrealistic standard which I believe results in mental health issues.
“Going after that portrayed perfect flawless look is so difficult and unrealistic so the top model bare faced round is so important to embrace natural beauty.
“When I go to model castings I have to go barefaced so I do believe this round will do the girls a world of good.”
Alisha is an ambassador for national UK charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide, which supports young peoples’ mental health.
Adding her opinion on the groundbreaking move, Sophie Knowles, HOPELINEUK Manager at PAPYRUS, said: “It is positive that the Miss England organisers are introducing a ‘no make-up round’ in support of healthy body image.
“There is a lot of pressure on young people today to live up to an idealistic standard of beauty.
“It’s important to remember that the images we see on social media are not always representative of real life appearances.
“On HOPELINEUK many young people who experience thoughts of suicide, share how their negative body image impacts on their mental health and self-esteem.”
The Miss England final is set to be held in Newcastle between July 31 and August 1, with the winner given a luxury holiday to Mauritius and a place in Miss World, which has a top prize of $100,000.
We salute organisers for making such a groundbreaking move to support young women’s mental health in a filter-ridden world.