‘This is my true self’ – First Ms Great Britain to compete makeup free after ‘bullying’

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Elle Seline is set to be the first Miss Great Britain contestant to compete without any makeup. She spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the real reason behind her brave decision.

Elle is a 31-year-old mother who lives in Surrey with her boyfriend and son.

For many years, the first thing she would do in the morning is to apply makeup on her bare skin.

Now, her routine has completely changed and so has her whole life.

This month, and for the first time in history, she will compete in all three rounds of miss Great Britain wearing no makeup at all.

Although it might seem trivial, the aspiring beauty queen is set to redefine beauty standards and hopefully make a change that will impact the next generation forever. She explained that the reason behind her decision is to promote beauty positivity and support all women to feel comfortable in their most vulnerable form.

However, this is a huge step for Elle, as the confidence issues she had in the past made her extremely afraid to show her true self. “In the past, I had an unhealthy relationship with myself, this stems from being ridiculed and bullied at school for my looks. The kids would tease me because of my thick hair and body type.

“Due to the bullying I carried their words with me into adulthood and wore makeup as a shield to protect me from further ridicule as I was afraid to show my true self in case history repeated itself.”

She continued: “The comments I remember affected me most were: ‘you have no friends, go back home’, ‘oh, she has hairy arms like a gorilla’ or ‘she has nits’.

“Being a young person was hard enough but being a young person who did not fit in was extra difficult because these comments come with you to adulthood if someone tells you something so many times you end up believing it yourself.”

Elle started wearing makeup every day as a cover, to the point she would struggle when she had to leave the house makeup-free: “I wore makeup for fear of people seeing my flaws and imperfections, makeup was my shield of armour there to protect me.”

She admitted she could only go to the shops makeup-free “as long as I knew no one who knew me would be there.”

But how did she overcome her fears?

“During lockdown, the pressures of wearing makeup subsided, the realisation that life isn’t promised to anyone was apparent and for the first time ever I felt more comfortable in my own skin.

“I competed in Ms Great Britain in 2020 when I felt empowered and had an amazing time, however, I did not give people myself fully.

“I called myself out on a lot of home truths during lockdown and I decided to enter Ms Great Britain again but this time as me unapologetically, for my own wellbeing but to also to help someone else who may be struggling too.”

If a woman has a chance to win a beauty pageant wearing no makeup at all is something that remains to be seen, but will Elle feel confident enough being the only one with a bare face?

“I think I will be nervous because I have never done anything like this before, in the past I have always worn makeup on stage.

“I also think I will feel liberated because my stand is for all women to feel good enough in their own skin. If I can do this pageant makeup-free then someone who doesn’t feel good enough may get the encouragement they need to feel amazing just as they are.

“My stand symbolises that women have a choice to wear makeup or not and that choice should be theirs and theirs alone.

“Society and the media have ridiculed women for years on how we look. My stand runs deeper than the two days of the finals of Ms Great Britain, it’s a promise to the next generation that we will do better for them,” Elle explained.

This year’s competition will be held in Leicester on September 16 and 17.

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