Aysha Khan (Photo: Facebook)


A MUSLIM Miss England contestant has defied convention by posing in a wetsuit instead of a swimsuit.

Aysha Khan was the only one of the 49 contestants not to wear a bikini.

Miss England banned the obligatory swimsuit competition in 2010, and introduced an optional swimwear round. Although the round was optional, Khan decided to enter it because she wanted to push forward the message that swimwear doesn’t necessarily mean a bikini.

The 21-year-old from Lancashire said: “Empowerment can be felt in many different ways and can be promoted in many different ways. Some women may feel more confident showing more skin and some women feel more confident showing less – the message being; empowerment is a personal feeling, and not wearing a bikini does not mean I am not confident about my body.”

She added: “As a finalist, there are over 10 rounds that I am able to enter that would give me a chance to fastrack to the #Top20 in the Miss England competition. One of these rounds as I’ve mentioned before is called #MissBeachBeauty – an ***optional*** round to promote body confidence and a healthy lifestyle.”

Khan, an Education Studies student, said her Muslim faith also influenced her decision to not wear a swimsuit.

She told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think other girls can see this and realise that they can do the same. Particularly because of my background, being Muslim too, I wanted to stay true to myself.”