Born beauties! Miss England hopefuls look fresh-faced as they pose up a storm ahead of the first makeup-free round in the competition’s history
- Miss England hopefuls Megan Fenwick and Hannah Bradley posed makeup-free
- Took part in Formby beach photoshoot with current Miss England Alisha Cowie
- This year marks the introduction of a new Miss England makeup-free round
A bevvy of bare-faced Miss England beauties have shown off their stunning natural looks while frolicking makeup-free on a beach in Formby, Merseyside.
The trio of pageant contestants attracted plenty of admiring looks as they posed up a storm in the sunshine – despite eschewing cosmetics completely for the shoot.
Current titleholder Alisha Cowie, from Newcastle, joined finalist Megan Fenwick, 17, the reigning Miss Staffordshire, and Hannah Bradley, a former Miss Cumbria, as the trio stripped off to their bikinis to enjoy a paddle.
And the confident pals were happy to forgo foundation as the pageant this week announced it had launched a completely makeup free round for the first time in its history – to support body positivity and natural beauty.
‘I feel that the more we embrace our natural beauty and learn to love what we call our “flaws”, the more there will be less room for unrealistic expectations,’ said Megan.
From left to right: Hannah Bradley, a former Miss Cumbria, Megan Fenwick, the reigning Miss Staffordshire and Alisha Cowie, the current title holder of Miss England, posed makeup-free to promote body positivity
Hannah Bradley with the English flag. This year marks the first time the competition will hold a makeup-free round
The move came after organisers revealed they had been left shocked by the amount of young contestants turning to lip fillers, Botox, heavy makeup and edited social media photos to supplement their looks.
‘By unrealistic expectations, I mean the perfection we as girls find ourselves obsessing over on social media every day,’ Megan explained.
‘The more we accept ourselves as the unique women we are, the easier it will be for girls to understand that makeup and filler are not needed to make ourselves feel beautiful.’
The last 54 contestants in the pageant are currently competing in the ‘Bare Face Top Model’ round, which alongside the ‘Beach Beauty’ round will see the pack whittled down to the final 20.
Already, 12 finalists have submitted no makeup photos of themselves to be in with a chance of winning the round.
First prize in the ‘Beach Beauty’ round is a paradise trip to Mauritius while the winner of the ‘Bare Face Top Model’ round will then be fast-tracked through to the final 20 in the contest.
Bare-faced: 12 finalists of this year’s contest have submitted pictures of themselves with no makeup on
Current Miss England Alisha, 19, explained: ‘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.’
She added: ‘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.’
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.
Megan Fenwick, the reigning Miss Staffordshire, looked stunning in a striped bikini and without makeup
Alisha, (right) who won the contest last year explained she felt it was important to embrace natural beauty
She continued: ‘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.’
The Miss England final is set to be held in Newcastle between July 31 and August 1, with the winner given a place in Miss World, which has a top prize of $100,000 (£89,257).
Miss England director Angie Beasley said that the contest was shocked to find out the number of hopefuls who had undergone plastic surgery
Miss England’s final will take place in Newcastle on 31 July and 1 August. The winner will qualify for Miss World
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