MINNESOTA – Over the past few months, Muslim model Halima Aden has proudly donned her hijab while walking on fashion runways, debunking myths about Muslim women and Islam.
“Being Somali, being Muslim, it’s always something I’ve been very proud of,” Aden said of her rich heritage in a recent interview with the BBC, Essence.com reported.
“I’ve notice over the years that in a way it was something I was scared to be because of the misconceptions and stereotypes that were out there.
“So this is my chance to show the world a different side to Muslims. We are your everyday people,” Aden added.
Aden made history last November 27, by competing at Miss Minnesota competition in her traditional dress and modest swimwear, reaching the semi-finals of the beauty pageant.
She sauntered on stage during the Miss Minnesota USA pageant Saturday night in a “burkini,” a bathing suit covering her from neck to wrist to ankle.
She was the first fully covered Muslim to compete in the state pageant, where she made it to the semifinal round of 15, but didn’t advance to the final five.
Ever since, the young Muslim walked for Max Mara, Alberta Ferretti and Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, all in her hijab.
According to Aden, the fashion industry’s reaction has been largely positive.
“I choose to focus on the positive. I feel like with anything you choose to do in this world, there are always gonna be people who disagree,” she added.
“But I’ve had a lot more supporters than critics.”
Aden has also broken barriers in the pageant world, assuring modesty and religious background in an industry focused on show and excitement.
“I say this all the time, but my hijab, it really is my crown and it’s something that I bring to the table. It’s something that makes me unique. It shows the world who I truly am.”