Halima Aden Made History: The Muslim Model to Pose in a Burkini For a Sports Illustrated Shoot

Halima Aden Made History: The Muslim Model to Pose in a Burkini For a Sports Illustrated Shoot


As we all know, the modeling business has always been a rough industry to be in, from unbelievable standards to racism and bullying. It’s a field that is full of pre judgments, misconceptions and insane regulations.

An unknown college student by the name of Halima Aden hit the headlines 3 years ago when she made it to the competition of the Miss Minnesota USA pageant as the first ever fully covered contestant. Which is definitely unusual and out of what we expect.

In today’s day, the Somali-American model is making history one more time as the first-ever Muslim model wearing a hijab and burkini to make an appearance in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Magazine Issue in it’s 65 years history.

Halima Aden
Halima Aden

Earlier than the publication of Sports Illustrated – Halima Aden has posted the news on Twitter that she would be joining the class of 2019 for the legendary and uplifting swimsuit edition, which is due to be released on May 8th.

The ground breaking model was born at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and then she moved to the United States at the age of 7, she became the first hijab-wearing model to sign with a major modeling agency when she joined IMG Models in 2017, in addition to even achieving the credibility to walk the runways of Yeezy, Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara, Aden also became the first hijab-wearing model to appear on the cover of a major US magazine when she was featured in Allure in 2017, and with so much efforts and dedication, just a year later, she was the first model of colour to ever be brave and somehow allowed to wear a hijab on a cover as huge and established as the British Vogue.

Thus, if that is not enough as a success, the 21-year-old who has just launched an astonishing headscarf collection at the Modest Fashion Week, returned to Kenya to shoot her historic Sports Illustrated issue. In the glam shoot, she blossomed in two custom burkinis, including a colour block suit designed by Cynthia Rowley to pose on the Watamu Beach with the ultimate fashion photographer Yu Tsai.

The infamous Muslim model, who has destroyed any cultural and religious insights about classical modeling, she encourages people in the fashion sphere to have more acceptance and discover while allowing different varieties to rise and grow, she also has spread the word on the importance of a positive representation of women and models in general, meanwhile she dived into her own personal Instagram to share the uplifting and inspiring news and explain to women of colour and/or women from a critical and crucial background.

“Don’t change yourself .. Change the GAME! Ladies anything is possible!” States Halima Aden

In an interview with SI, Halima Aden reflected on her humble yet inspiring start and her uprising to fame.

“I keep thinking back to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,’ she told Sports Illustrated.

 “We believe that beauty has no boundaries,’ states Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day. ‘I appreciate Halima, I see her as such an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her notoriety on social media for and her amazing work with Unicef.

“In my opinion, she’s one of the timeless beauties of our era, she’s gorgeous on the outside just as much as on in the inside. When we met, I was instantly taken and fascinated by her intelligence, enthusiasm, and authenticity,” states SI editor MJ Day.

We cannot disagree, Halima Aden has moved women’s history to a higher sphere, a world full of acceptance, diversity, freedom of choice and serenity.

This proves that dreams do come true, if you set your mind on it, you will absolutely achieve it.



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