A 20-year-old Muslim woman is set to become the first beauty queen to participate in the Miss England finals while wearing a hijab. If she wins, Sarah Iftekhar could represent the country at the Miss World competition in China.
Iftekhar, a University of Huddersfield law student from West Yorkshire, will take part in the Miss England beauty contest final at Kelham Hall in Nottinghamshire next Tuesday.
While she is not the first Miss England contestant to wear a hijab, she is the first to make it to the final stage of the competition.
Iftekhar, who started her own clothing business at the age of 16, is also using her platform to fundraise for the Miss World charity ‘Beauty with a Purpose.’ The Miss England organization encourages all contestants to raise money and awareness for the charity that aims to help underprivileged children around the world.
Posting on an Instagram account which appears to have since been removed, Iftekhar reportedly wrote about her delight at qualifying for the grand finale of the competition. On her charity GoFundMe page, Iftekhar explained her motivation for entering the beauty contest, writing: “I participated in Miss 2018 in order to show that beauty doesn’t have a definition, everyone is beautiful in their own ways, regardless of their weight, race, color or shape.”
If Iftekhar beats the 49 other beauty queens to claim the crown, she will go on to represent England at Miss World showdown in China.