Muslim supermodel Halima Aden has made history once again by becoming the first model to wear a hijab and burkini in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Halima, a Somali-American model was born in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and lived there until she was 7 before moving to the U.S. In 2016, Aden became the first contestant in Miss Minnesota USA to wear a hijab and burkini, ultimately reaching the pageant’s semi-finals.
Her Sports Illustrated shoot, photographed by Yu Tsai, took place at Kenya’s Watamu Beach.
She said during her shoot: “I keep thinking back to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp. So to grow up to live the American dream and to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”
This isn’t the first time Halima has made history, in March, she was one of three black hijabi models featured on the cover of Vogue Arabia — the magazine’s first group hijabi cover — alongside Ikram Abdi Omar and Amina Adan. She was also the first person to wear a hijab on the cover of Allure.
In a HuffPost article, she said:
“Being in Sports Illustrated is so much bigger than me. It’s sending a message to my community and the world that women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings can stand together and be celebrated. This is a moment, that’s for sure. Women everywhere should know their differences are what make them beautiful.”
By: Dammy Eneli