19-year-old Halima Aden has become the first ever model to wear a hijab on an American mainstream fashion magazine, appearing on the front cover of this month’s edition of Allure. Aden was born to Somali parents in a Kenyan refugee camp and moved to the American state of Minnesota at the age of seven. Since then, she has grown in the fashion industry, first making headlines in November 2016 when she appeared in a hijab and burkini during the Miss Minnesota pageant. Since then, she has made appearances at New York Fashion Week and has been profiled by Vogue magazine.
Say hello to #HalimaAden—the first hijab-wearing model to a) sign to IMG, b) walk in a Yeezy Season fashion show, c) compete in Miss Minnesota USA, and d) cover #allure. Get to know the 19-year-old Somali American model, who’s breaking down every boundary in the fashion industry. “Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way,” she says. “I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against ‘You’re too skinny,’ ‘You’re too thick,’ ‘Look at her hips,’ ‘Look at her thigh gap.’ I don’t have to worry about that.” Tap the link in bio for our full interview. 📸: @solvesundsbostudio 👗: @beatbolliger 💇: @philippetholimet 💄: @thevalgarland 💅: @mariannewman
On the cover of Allure, Aden is modeling Nike’s new performance hijab, intended for Muslim athletes. The cover headline is “This is American Beauty”, meant to rankle conservatives who are hesitant to accept the wave of Muslim immigrants coming into the country. In the profile, Aden talks about how wearing the hijab has the side effect of protecting her from the body shaming phenomenon she’s witnessed among her modeling contemporaries. “I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against, ‘You’re too skinny’, ‘You’re too thick’, ‘Look at her hips’, ‘Look at her thigh gap’. I don’t have to worry about that,” Aden said. She also talked about how wearing the hijab is a way of paying homage to the role her mother had in raising her: “Every little girl looks up to her mom so much. That’s your first hero.” Talking about the common association older Americans make between the general Muslim population and the extremist groups of international terrorists, Aden said in a separate interview, “The people that are doing bad things, they don’t represent an entire group. I feel like I’m here to bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women.”