LONDON - A Pakistani-origin student from northern England became the first hijab-wearing finalist of the Miss England beauty pageant in Nottinghamshire.
Sara Iftekhar, who is studying law at Huddersfield University in West Yorkshire region of England, contested against 49 other hopefuls on Tuesday for the crown after she had won the Miss Huddersfield 2018 title in July.
After the event, she posted on her Instagram stories that she did not win the final. She said, "My purpose was to just show that we are regular girls as well. I think I showed that by reaching in the top 15 out of 22,000 girls. That's an achievement that I am proud of. I would like to thank you all for you support. Honestly, it's been really nice and really do appreciate all the comments."
The 20-year-old, who also works as a make-up artist, is popular on social media and posts pictures of herself in traditional Pakistani outfits on her Instagram page.
"I did not expect to be making history. I do feel proud. 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," Sara said, adding that she decided to take part in Miss England for "a bit of fun".
"If I want to cover myself up and dress modestly why should that be an issue? I am just like the other contestants. If I am sending out that message it will motivate other people to participate in a beauty contest," she said.