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Muslim Model Becomes First Hijabi on Essence Magazine Cover

Halima Aden has made history after becoming the first black woman to grace the cover of Essence magazine in hijab for its historic 50th-anniversary issue, Daily Mail reported.

“Ahhh!! My first cover of 2020 and it’s for @essence!! A huge thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly on this historic 50th-anniversary cover, I’m so thankful to be the first black hijab-wearing woman to be featured on Essence!” she tweeted. 

The Somali-American model donned a pink hijab on the magazine’s cover.

“There have been several moments in model Halima Aden’s life when she’s broken a barrier by simply being who she is,” Essence shared in a news release on its website.

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“The model and activist was the first Muslim homecoming queen at her high school; the first Somali student senator at her college; and the first hijab-wearing woman to be the face of numerous fashion magazine covers, including Allure and British Vogue.

“In celebration of stepping into a new decade, Aden’s gracing the cover of ESSENCE’s January/February 2020 issue as the first Black female cover star wearing a hijab,” the statement reads.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

In the US, Halima Aden started modeling in February 2017, months after competing at Miss Minnesota competition in her traditional dress and modest swimwear, reaching the semi-finals of the beauty pageant.

Since then, the young Muslim has walked for Max Mara, Alberta Ferretti, and Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, all in her hijab.

The model has previously opened up about her rise to fame, revealing she was “never expecting” to forge a career in the fashion industry.

“Growing up, I knew what it was like not having representation. When I say representation, I just mean people who resemble you or someone you could relate to or someone who even dresses like you,” Aden told i-D magazine in 2017.

“If I can give that opportunity to a girl, where she can flip through a magazine and see someone dressed like her, or someone who looks like her or has a similar background, I think that’s important.”

“Me being out in the public and displaying my religion, my faith, being different to what the stereotype is — I think that has opened a lot of people’s eyes,” she added.