A Muslim student has become the first Miss England contestant to compete in the final stages of the pageant while wearing a hijab.
Sara Iftekhar, a 20-year-old law student from West Yorkshire, was crowned Miss Huddersfield earlier this year.
She competed against 49 other contestants at the Miss England finals on September 4 in the hope of representing the country at the Miss World contest, which is taking place on December 8 in Sanya, China.
There have been previous instances of women taking part in the qualifying rounds of the Miss England pageant wearing hijabs. However, Iftekhar is the first hijab-wearing contestant to have been named a finalist.
Writing on her Instagram page, on which she’s garnered more than 5,000 followers, the law student explained how excited she felt to have been able to compete in the Miss England pageant leading up to the finals.
“It was an incredible experience and something which I will never be able to forget,” she wrote.
“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.”
She also set up a fundraising page for children’s charity Beauty with a Purpose, which was created by the Miss England organisation.
“I participated in Miss 2018 in order to show that beauty doesn’t have a definition,” she wrote on the GoFundMe page, which has currently raised £330 out of a goal of £500.
“Everyone is beautiful in their own ways, regardless of their weight, race, colour or shape.” (UK Independent)
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