Defying definitions

‘Everyone is beautiful in their own ways,’ says first hijab-wearing Miss England finalist

Miss Huddersfield 2018, Sara Iftekhar, is the first hijab-wearing woman to make the Miss England finals. (Instagram/Sara Iftekhar)

A 20-year-old law student and makeup artist has become the first hijab-wearing woman to make it into the Miss England final. Sara Iftekhar hails from Huddersfield, in the country’s north, which also boasts a large Muslim population, and often posts images of herself to Instagram in traditional Pakistani attire. The earliest images on her feed don’t show her face, showcasing the outfits instead.

“If I want to cover myself up and dress modestly why should that be an issue? I am just like the other contestants,” she said, hoping to motivate others to participate in beauty pageants.

“At the end of the day, I may be the first woman to wear a hijab [at the Miss England final]. However, I am just a regular girl and we all have a fair opportunity in this contest.”

View this post on Instagram

Wowwwwwww!!!! I can’t even comprehend how amazing it felt for my name to be announced as a finalist in the Miss England Finals 2018! Alhamdullilah ❤️ It was an incredible experience and something which I will never be able to forget. The opportunities which I have received with being a finalist in Miss england are opportunities which I would never have thought of and will forever be grateful for @missenglandnews ———————————————————————— A special thanks for my sponsor @parisa_collections for providing me with my gorgeous scarves. A huge thank you to @angeladawn63 ,Kerry, Kirsty,Karina and all of the Miss England team you really have supported me a lot and shown me so much love 💕 Thanks for everyone who has supported me with your kind words it really means alot😭 Let’s get ready for the grand finals now💃🏻 #missengland #misspopularity #missyorkshire @hudexaminer

A post shared by S A R A 🌹 (@sara_iftekhar) on

The Miss Huddersfield 2018 winner also established a fundraising page for the children’s charity Beauty with a Purpose, explaining on it that she signed up for the beauty pageants to “show that beauty doesn’t have a definition. Everyone is beautiful in their own ways, regardless of their weight, race, color or shape.”

In a video posted to social media, Iftekhar said she was proud to have made it into the final  50 selected to compete for the title, from 22,000 entrants.

Read the full story at the BBC.

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