Halima Aden Muslim model hijab burkini Sports illustrated

Halima Aden Makes History as Sports Illustrated First Muslim Model to Rock a Hijab and Burkini

Somali-American model Halima Aden is the first Muslim model to wear a hijab and burkini in Sports Illustrated’s (SI) coveted swimsuit edition. In trying to diversify its models, Sports Illustrated has featured different types of models from various ethnicities, ages and with a broader range of body types over the past few years.

The magazine even chose to do an homage to Halima Aden by shooting her segment in her birth country, Kenya. She migrated to the United States when she was 7- years old from the Kakuma Refugee Camp. It’s her first time shooting with SI and the photo shoot took place at Watamu Beach, Kenya with renowned fashion photographer Yu Tsai.

Related Story: Twitter Users Showing Support for Ilhan Omar With #IStandWithIlhan

“This is literally a dream come true,” Halima told the magazine in an interview. “I can’t even tell you how this feels. I keep thinking to 6-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp. So to grow up to live the American dream, to come back to Kenya and shoot for Sports Illustrated in the most beautiful parts of Kenya—I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”

Interestingly enough, Halima Aden wore a hijab and a burkini when she competed in the Miss Minnesota 2017 pageant. She placed in the Top 15. Halima went on to sign with IMG models and is an incredibly successful international model. She has also become an advocate for the expansion of beauty acceptance of women from various backgrounds.

Although Muslim models like Adesuwa Aighewi, Ikran Abdi Omar, Taleedah Tamer, and Kadija Diawara have been incredible forces in the fashion industry, Halima Aden is making strides in the fashion world for representing modest Muslim women.

She is also trying to normalize the perception of Muslim women who choose to wear a traditional hijab and burkini.

“With all the negativity right now … I know so many women who stopped wearing the hijab because they were scared,” she told TODAY. “… I wanted to inspire Muslim women to challenge themselves … (but) I didn’t want to compromise my values.”

Even as a proud Muslim woman, Halima embodies American values.

 

Latest News

Facebook logo

Facebook Forced To Pay a Record $14-Million Settlement for Discriminating Against US Workers

October continues to be a month Facebook likely wishes it could forget. First came Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who explained in chilling detail how the site and its algorithms are designed to profit off what she called “the spread and amplification of hate, misinformation and political unrest.” Then there was…

AbbVie’s ‘Ability’ Employee Resource Group on How the Company Champions People With Seen and Unseen Disabilities

Originally published at stories.abbvie.com. AbbVie ranked No. 15 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   In the sixth of a seven-part Employee Resource Group (ERG) series, we’re shining the spotlight on Ability at AbbVie. This group focuses on advocacy and inclusion, uniting employees with disabilities,…

United States Capitol Building

More Than 300 Black Congressional Staffers Decry Lack of Diversity on Capitol Hill; Challenge Lawmakers To ‘Do Better’

Regardless of which party is in power at any given time, people of color continue to be woefully underrepresented in not just elected office but also within support roles working for those lawmakers. And now, hundreds of these staffers are speaking out about what they call an “appalling” lack of…