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Muslim law student becomes first hijabi Miss England finalist

StepFeed logo StepFeed 04/09/2018 StepFeed

A 20-year-old Muslim law student has just become the first-ever hijabi to make it to the finals of Miss England, the country's national beauty pageant.

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Sara Iftekhar, who is studying law at The University of Huddersfield, is competing against 49 other contestants for the crown. The pageant is set to take place on September 4.

The hijabi reportedly shared a now-deleted photo to Instagram with a caption that read:

"Wowwwwwww!!!! I can't even comprehend how amazing it felt for my name to be announced as a finalist in the Miss England Finals 2018! Alhamdullilah."

"It was an incredible experience and something which I will never be able to forget. The opportunities which I have received with being a finalist in Miss England are opportunities which I would never have thought of and will forever be grateful for," she added.

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Iftekhar is no stranger to popularity and fame, having won the Miss Huddersfield title and Miss Yorkshire popularity contest in the past. 

If the law student takes home the Miss England 2018 title, she will go on to represent England at Miss World, the renowned international beauty pageant held in December.

Iftekhar - who started her own clothing business at the age of 16 - has been donating profits to Beauty with a Purpose, an NGO which "supports cleft palate teams in South America, Sri Lanka and Russia".

"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," the 20-year-old wrote on her crowdfunding page.

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 "I still feel honored to be one of the amazing girls in the top 50 chosen out of 22,000 women," she wrote in an Instagram post.

"I just can’t wait to see where this journey takes me."

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People on social media are celebrating the news

"Beautiful"

"You go girl"

Hijabis are taking the "beauty industry" by storm

In 2017, hijabi model Halima Aden took the spotlight after becoming the first hijabi woman to appear on a Vogue cover. That same year, Aden walked the New York Fashion Week runway showcasing Kanye West's Yeezy collection ... all while wearing the hijab.

Aden has competed at the Miss USA beauty pageant and has signed with the world's top modeling agency IMG Models, which is home to Gigi and Bella Hadid as well as Miranda Kerr. 

IMG Models had signed Muslim models before, but Aden became the agency's first hijab-wearing model.

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