Ms Great Britain contestant Elle Seline will not wear makeup to ’empower young women’

When Seline was a teenager, she would use makeup as a mask, because she was ridiculed for having a lot of body hair owing to her mixed heritage: part Greek, part English

In a first, a Ms Great Britain contestant has decided to go makeup-free so as to make a bold statement on female empowerment. It is unheard of in beauty pageants, for contestants to ditch makeup altogether, but 31-year-old Elle Seline is making the world notice her for this unique and powerful decision.

According to a BBC report, when Seline was a teenager, she would use makeup as a mask, particularly because she was ridiculed for having a lot of body hair owing to her mixed heritage: she is part Greek, part English.

But now, she has entered the beauty pageant to inspire the next generation of girls. “There may be a young girl at school who sees it and feels that, actually, I’m good enough as I am,” Seline was quoted as telling the outlet. “I came from a different culture. I was ridiculed for my body shape, my hair was quite frizzy and they would always say that I had head lice and that I was a gorilla, because I had a bit more facial hair and arm hair,” she added.

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Per the report, Seline is now a mental health worker who lives in Surrey. She alleged that all the childhood bullying led to depression in her adulthood. When she was 13, Seline, also a musician, had started to straighten her hair and shave her arms. She also started to wear makeup.

“I would look in the mirror and ridicule myself, because that’s what they did. I would wear a foundation that was a bit lighter than my skin because I was desperate to fit in. And the filters and the apps nowadays are doing exactly what I did at school.”

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The BBC report states that Seline had entered last year’s ‘Ms Great Britain’, which is a new category for Miss Great Britain — UK’s longest-running beauty pageant — for 27-38-year-olds. “I gave them something I thought they wanted to see.”

This year, she decided to enter again, and without makeup, after having found confidence during the lockdown. “When I was onstage doing gigs, I would always make sure that I looked, in my eyes, pristine. It was my shield, to be honest. During lockdown, I didn’t have the pressures that I had before, which were to wear makeup. I had to learn to accept myself as I was,” she told BBC.

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“We owe it to the next generation to say it’s okay to be you,” she said.

The Miss Great Britain finals will happen in Leicester on September 16 and 17, 2021.

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