I’m slammed for wearing make-up but now I’m first hijab-wearing woman to make Miss Great Britain final… it’s a huge step | The Sun

A WOMAN who gets slammed for wearing make-up has reached the Miss Great Britain final and says it’s a huge step for women everywhere.

Taslimah Rassool, from Epsom, Surrey, who has previously done campaigns with MAC Cosmetics and Facebook, is set to be the first Hijab-wearing Muslim to compete in the national competition in Leicester in October.

The beauty contest is the country’s longest running pageant and was founded in 1945.

Taslimah, who previously worked as a news anchor in Kuwait, is battling for the crown in the 31-44 age category and is donating her earnings to charity Human Appeal.

She told The Sun: “Religion means different things to different people. I wear make-up and some people say that’s haram, that’s forbidden. It’s different people’s interpretations.

“For me, making it to the final is a personal triumph. An organisation which has not recognised women like me before has picked me and commended me for wearing a hijab.  

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“It doesn’t matter that I’m the first woman in hijab to compete, what matters is that all women are beautiful and we are all humankind.”

She wrote in her application for the pageant: “I was never forced to wear Hijab; it was my choice and it is solely between me and my relationship with Allah.

"Being the first, is not only important for women of Hijab, but for all women who are perceived as ‘different’ not because they themselves feel they are different but from what others see them to be.”

Taslimah will take part in a catwalk style stage show with 65 other national finalists in October.

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The Miss Great Britain is for women aged 18-30 with new categories of Ms Great Britain & Ms Great Britain Classic for older age groups.

Taslimah donates her earnings from her modelling work to charity and is asking supporters to give just £1 to Miss Great Britain’s charities, Cancer Research UK and Alex's Wish, an organisation to help a boy with a muscle wasting condition.

She said the other contestants had been very supportive and reached out to her once she was shortlisted.

Taslimah said: “I know it’s a competition and we are all each other’s competitors but we are supporting each other and that’s really powerful.

“Every shoot that I’ve gone on I’m really thankful because the staff are always very accommodating to my needs as a Muslim woman.

“If there are male photographers they can separate the room so I always feel comfortable in those situations. They are always more than accommodating and respectful to my faith.”

Miss Great Britain was founded after the war in 1945 and is still the country’s longest running beauty contest.

It caused controversy in 2016 when they stripped Love Island star Zara Holland of her title after she had sex on the ITV2 show.

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Law student Sara Iftekhar became the first hijab-wearing woman to take part in the Miss England final in 2018.

Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8, The Sun has launched its campaign to celebrate women from all walks of life all around the world.

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