Ms Great Britain Contestant Entering Contest Make-Up Free ‘To Empower Young Women’
Elle Seline is entering the Ms Great Britain contest without any make-up to ’empower young women.’
The 31-year-old, a musician and mental health worker who lives in Surrey, hopes her place in the national pageant will help to inspire the next generation of women struggling with self-confidence.
Elle grew up on the Greek island of Skiathos before moving to the UK and going to Warminster School in Wiltshire, where she faced ridicule and bullying from classmates over her appearance.
‘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. I would look in the mirror and ridicule myself, because that’s what they did,’ she told BBC News.
After straightening her hair and shaving her arms, Elle started to wear make-up after turning 13. ‘I would wear 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,’ she said.
Nearly two decades later, Elle entered Ms Great Britain, a new category in the Miss Great Britain pageant for 27- to 38-year-olds. Last year, she gave the competition ‘something I thought they wanted to see’ – this time, she’s going make-up free. ‘There may be a young girl at school who sees it and feels that, actually, I’m good enough as I am,’ she said.
‘Standing onstage in front of loads of people on a national pageant platform is going to be really scary. But I know after the competition I’m going to feel really good about myself, regardless of if I win or not. We owe it to the next generation to say it’s okay to be you.’
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