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Somali-American Halima Aden Models “Burkini” On Sports Illustrated Cover

She’s the first – and from the looks of it, she won’t be the last.

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In an inspiring step forward for Muslim women everywhere, Somali-American Halima Aden will star as a cover girl on Sports Illustrated in a beautiful “burkini”.

A burkini is a kind of modesty swimsuit for women. This is what it looks like :

Stunning, isn’t it?

21-year old Halima Aden is well known for turning the fashion world on it’s head. Why? She refuses to give up wearing a hijab (or an alternative, like a burkini). The former refugee, UNICEF ambassador and now successful model wears it for “deeply personal” reasons, and feels strongly enough about it that she’s put it in her modelling contract despite the negativity and potential employers she might be putting off. Above all, one has to admire her guts.

Mirroring other major fashion brands and their moves towards inclusivity, Sports Illustrated has been moving towards a more diverse angle. Their 2019 swimsuit edition line-up included a visibly pregnant 28-year old model Samantha Hoopes, plus-sized model Veronica Pome’e, and of course Halima herself.

Breaking that glass ceiling

In 2016, Halima was the first contestant to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. “She’s making history tonight”, the announcer told the cheering crowd as she trail-blazed ahead for other Muslim woman that night. She finished in the top 15. As a result, the 2017 Miss Minnesota USE pageant boasted 7 Somali-American contestants.

As a result of her bravery, there has been a great deal of negativity in the Instagram comments of her post. However, Halima isn’t fazed – not even close. She used to be a refugee – she fell asleep to the sound of gun-fire and spent her younger days fearing malaria.

In her interview with KARE-11 after the Miss Minnesota pageant, Halima had these inspiring words to say: “Be who you are. It’s easy to feel like you have to blend in, but it takes courage to live your life with conviction and embrace the person that you are.”

Do you want to read more about this fashion icon? Look no further, we’ve got you covered.

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