Kenyan Hijab model Halima Aden makes history on cover of Sports Illustrated

The Somali-American Halima Aden is the new Sports Illustrated cover girl and is rocking a hijab and burkini on the cover.

The Muslim model, who has worked runways across the globe, landed the prestigious cover of the May issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition as was announced on Twitter.

Time Magazine reports, Aden’s spread features a photo shoot done in Kenya. She was born at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, before moving to the US at the age of seven.

Moving onto greener pastures in America, she and her family settled in St Cloud Minnesota, where she attended high school and later university at St Cloud University.

Speaking about her glow up and her humble beginnings, 21-year-old Halima said: “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.”

Taking to Instagram, the Kenyan- Somali belle had lots to say about her most recent achievement.

She captioned her post: ” Don’t change yourself .. Change the GAME!! Ladies anything is possible!!! 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. Thank you so much @si_swimsuit & the entire team for giving me this incredible opportunity.”

The 1.66m tall beauty made a name for herself starting out with a local pageant competition in America. She competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she was a semi-finalist.

Following her participation in the state-wide pageant, Halima received national attention and was soon signed to IMG Models.

The choice of having a hijabi model was deliberate for SI, and who better than the beautiful Halima.

Sports llustrated was previously known for perpetuating beauty standards that lacked diversity and were unrepresentative of the society.

Now, in an attempt to correct their ways, the prestigious magazine has had an MMA fighter Ronda Rousey as well as plus-size model Ashley Graham.

Halima has appeared on the cover of British Vogue, Vogue Arabia, Allure and now Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.


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