Sara Iftekhar was unable to win when she participated in the Miss England beauty contest last week. But that does not mean the 20-year-old law student is not worthy of a degree.
As the first Miss England wearer to wear the hijab, Sara Ifekhar was well aware that when dealing with public opinion, she would always lose. "Following this competition and becoming (descendants) of Pakistan, however, I will still get a counterattack," he was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail on Sunday (16/9).
"If I wear a small black dress and don't wear the hijab, people will say: 'Why don't you cover yourself? This is against your religion!' But when I wear the hijab, people will say: 'Why are you covering yourself? This is a beauty contest.' "I can't please everyone. I am a pretty tough person, but some of the comments I received on the internet were terrible," he explained.
According to Sara, people said that she was 'forced' to wear hijab by her parents. But he insisted that he was not the type of person who could be told to do anything.
"This is my choice to wear it and I don't do it to show anything. I'm just an ordinary girl from an ordinary family who wants to take part in beauty contests for a little fun. I don't know I'll make history. "
But that's what he did. After reaching the top 50 in the 68th Miss England competition, 22,000 candidates, Sara, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, slid on stage in long dresses and hijabs. Although not participating in optional events, namely bikini contests or beautiful hair contests (he is not the only contestant who does not follow both) he follows the others.
Moving along with the times, this competition has changed over the years. Competitors currently take part in sports, general knowledge and talent competitions.
Sara collects money for charity, and still has burn marks from heated glue after she makes her own 'eco-friendly clothes' from waste such as plastic straws and wallets from the KFC box, for environmental events, which highlight waste pollution. Even so, he finally lost to Miss Newcastle, Alisha Cowie.
Most of the audience praised Sara Ifekhar and Miss England's organizers for adding much needed diversity to a process that was still rather ancient. But others argue that he should not take part in a traditional English beauty contest if he is not ready to 'show off' his physical attributes.
The use of hijab remains a hot topic in the UK, which is getting hotter because of the words of former British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson. Recently, he said women who wore a veil looked like bank mailboxes or robbers, causing a stir.
"What I will say is that every woman has the right to choose what she wears," Sara said.