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United Kingdom

Miss England launches a completely makeup free round for the first time in the pageant's history

Miss England has launched a completely makeup free round for the first time in the competition's history - to support body positivity and natural beauty.

Heats are currently being held with 54 contestants aiming to be crowned the winner at the final in Newcastle next month and chosen to represent the country at Miss World.

As a new initiative for 2019, entrants have been challenged to submit snaps of themselves with no makeup, filters or editing.

The decision to add a new optional round was made after organisers were left shocked by seeing young contestants turning to injectables such as fillers.

Miss England has launched a completely makeup free round for the first time ever. Pictured is finalist Bhasha Mukherjee, 22, a junior doctor from Derby, showing off her no makeup selfie

The pageants organisers said they were shocked at contestants as young as 19 having lip fillers and wanted to encourage natural beauty. Pictured is finalist Bhasha with makeup on her face

The winner of the 'Bare Face Top Model' round will then be fast-tracked through to the final 20 in the contest.

Miss England director Angie Beasley said: 'Recently we have been shocked to see 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.

Miss England director Angie Beasley said 'the difference between what women see on social media and reality is getting out of hand.' Pictured is finalist Lucy Krogdahl with no makeup on

The Miss England final will be held in Newcastle between July 31 and August 1. Pictured is finalist Lucy Krogdahl, who goes to the University of Lincoln, in full make up

'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.'

Director Angie added that she hoped the round would encourage contestants to wear 'less makeup overall.'

She said: '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 the bare-faced images of the finalists.

Director Angie added that she hoped the round would encourage contestants to wear ' less makeup overall.' Pictured is finalist Pratishtha Raut, 26, without any makeup on

Miss England finalist Pratishtha Raut, who is an interior architect, is pictured on the catwalk during one of the pageant's events wearing a full face of makeup

A scout from London modelling agency Fascia Models will study the bare-faced images of the finalists. Pictured is another Miss England competitor Bethany Cammack, 22, from St. Helens

As well as a catwalk round those who reach the final are encouraged to take part in a creative ECO fashion round and a sports round. Pictured is finalist Bethany Cammack wearing makeup

All of the 54 contestants can enter this optional round and there are 10 rounds in total at this stage of the competition.

Current Miss England Alisha Cowie, from Newcastle, often goes without makeup in selfies on social media.

Alisha said: '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.

Angie explained it is important for the pageant to promote body positivity during the yearly event. Pictured is finalist Natoya Rimmer, 20, from Norfolk, showing off her no make-up selfie

Natoya, pictured walking the catwalk in the Black Cocktail Wear Round of the Miss England East Midlands Semi Final in Leicester, is one of the girls who has entered the optional round

All of the 54 Miss England contestants can enter the optional round of the competition. Pictured is finalist Claire Bell, 25, who works at an adoption charity

'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.

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.

The winner of Bare Face Top Model round will be fast-tracked to the last 20 contestants at the final in Newcastle. Pictured is current Miss England Alisha Cowie with no make up on her face

Miss England Alisha Cowie, from Newcastle, pictured, said she believes the round 'will do the girls a world of good' and that it is 'important to embrace natural beauty'

Alisha, pictured last year after winning the pageant, is the current Miss England and has since become an ambassador for UK charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide

'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 (£78,400).

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