Beauty queens show off imperfections in candid make-up-free pictures

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Alice Cutler, 26, a solicitor from Southampton -Credit:No credit

Beauty queens preparing to take part in this year'[s Miss England finals have shared their imperfections showing acne, blemishes and weight gain as part of a campaign to highlight natural and inner beauty.

The competitors, including a prison officer from Lancashire, released photos showing their flaws as part of an 'Instagram versus Reality' campaign ahead of the final this month. Organisers say they want to showcase a more realistic body image and natural looks by promoting true life experiences women have to go through.

It comes after the competition completely banned its controversial swimwear round for the first time. Alexandria Krystal, of Barnsley, South Yorks., is the youngest in the competition at 16 and shared the difficulties she has faced suffering with acne.


She said: "There are lots of things I don't let define me, acne is one of them. It goes through cycles and does upset me at times. I love getting dressed up and putting my make up on but there are days when I simply can't be bothered and that's my prerogative to look how I choose to look when I feel like it."

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Prison officer Melissa Butcher, 24, from Lancaster -Credit:No credit

Alice Cutler, 26, a solicitor from Southampton, has struggled with her weight and was 16 stone at her heaviest She said: "I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember."

"I have had a lot of trauma throughout my life and "eating my feelings" became a way of dealing, or not, with everything. In 2019, I was at my biggest weighing almost 16 stone after comfort eating my way through the loss of my mum."

"Over a period of a year and a half, I managed to lose five stone and felt great again. However, it's important to know that losing weight isn't the end point of the journey.

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Melissa suffered from body dysmorphia from a young age -Credit:No credit

"it's only the start. Maintaining a healthy weight is a project for life and one which I will always have to keep an eye on, especially as someone who loves sweet treats."

Mehak Chandel, 23, a special needs teaching assistant from Southall, West London, has also had problems with her skin. She added: "I am someone who has struggled with acne for almost 10 years now.

"It used to be a defining factor in my beauty - if I had clear skin I was 'beautiful' and even the smallest pimple would leave me feeling 'ugly'. However, over the years I grew and accepted that this just a part of me, as is an arm or leg and it has nothing to do with my beauty or self-worth.

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Prison officer Melissa without make up -Credit:No credit

"In one image here, I look like I have clear skin thanks to makeup and studio perfect lighting/angles. The other picture shows me just 30 minutes after waking up - no skincare, no makeup, no studio lighting - just my real, bare skin."

"Although this picture clearly depicts my acne scarring and pimples I don't feel less beautiful than the other. These are both me, I have learnt to embrace all of me for who I am and I will constantly strive to empower all young people to see themselves in the same way, to know that society cannot dictate what is 'perfect' and anything considered a 'flaw' is really just a simple part of you - it is not entirely you."

"We are all beautiful in every form we come in."

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Nina Peniasko without makeup -Credit:No credit

Prison officer Melissa Butcher, 24, from Lancaster, suffered from body dysmorphia from a young age which affected her mental health so much she pulled out of her dancing career. She added: "Never in a million years would I have imagined being in the Miss England final but here we are."

"Believe in yourself, I'm looking forward to the sports round and been training hard to give myself the best chance" .

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Nina Peniasko -Credit:No credit

Other girls shared make-up free photos without any filters, cosmetics or editing. Miss England organiser Angie Beasley said "On day of the final the 40 finalists will be doing a catwalk make up free."

"We have encouraged the finalists to share their true selves on the Miss England blog on our website and be more realistic on social media. Its proving a success as the contestants are realising they are not alone with their struggles and it shows their lives are not a bed of roses.

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Mehak Chandel, 23, a special needs teaching assistant from Southall -Credit:No credit
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Mehak Chandel -Credit:No credit

"Some contestants have shared stories of grief and bullying during their younger years along with talking about reasons for entering. Its very inspiring . I've seen a lot of the contestants bonding who will probably make friends for life. "

The Miss England final taking place over two days at the Grand Station in Wolverhampton on May 16 and 17. For further info visit