Maria Mahmood is a 20-year-old psychology student from Birmingham who has became the first ever hijabi Muslim to compete in the Miss England contest.
Maria is also an inspiring social worker and she wanted to challenge the negative stereotypes that Muslims face in different parts of the world.
Before that, a Muslim won the Miss England contest but Maria is the first hijabi Muslim to compete in this contest. She’s through to the semi-finals and got all the capabilities to win it.
Though Maria Mahmood has got the supportive hands of all the family and friends yet she is aware that she might face criticism from the old-timers.
Nonetheless, Maria entered the contest like a queen and said that she is proud to wear her Muslim identity. She further said that having an important message is more important than your looks. (According to the Daily Mail)
Talking about competing in the swimwear round, Maria Mahmood said, “I am not going to parade on the stage in a bikini obviously, as this is to going against my religion and beliefs. I will wear a burkini.”
Maria further revealed that when she entered the competition, the organizers were happy to have a hijab-wearing Muslim in the contest.
Maria Mahmood added, “Afterwards I had the judges coming up to me and telling me that how much they loved what I was representing. That really, really felt good.”
An Indian girl also came up to her afterwards and said that as an Asian woman she would never consider doing something like this. But after seeing Maria, she decided to pursue it.
Maria Mahmood is definitely an inspiration for all the hijabi women out there who want to participate in such activities but reluctant, because of the stereotypical perspectives.
However, the semi-final of Miss England contest will be held in July, in Newark, Nottinghamshire and we wish Maria all the good luck. More power to you girl!