Bits & Bobs Headline Animator
Friday, 23 June 2017
A Somali model has become the first woman ever to grace the cover of American beauty magazine Allure, while wearing a hijab.
Halima Aden, who is only 19-years-old, is pictured wearing Nike's high-performance hijab on the cover of the July issue of the women's magazine, with a caption that says "This is American Beauty".
Aden has long been working to busy stereotypes of Muslim women in the media, having appeared in the bikini round of the 2016 Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant while wearing a bikini and hijab.
Since then, she's also walked in the Yeezy season five show at New York Fashion Week and made headlines by being the first hijab-wearing woman to grace the cover of Vogue.
Mario Sorrenti, who photographed Halima for Paris-based CR Fashion Book told Vogue: “The power really came from her eyes and her presence…I think there’s a modern quality about her, being of her faith and expressing her femininity and beauty with confidence.”
Aden told Allure that she first began wearing her hijab when she moved to America at the age of eight, from a Kenyan refugee camp where she was born in 1997.
She did this in imitation of her Mum. “Every little girl looks up to her Mom so much – that’s your first hero”, she said.
Aden has also spoken out about how wearing the hijab was a choice she made, and that not all women choose to wear it.
“Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way” she told Allure, “I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against ‘You’re too skinny’, ‘You’re too thick,’ ‘Look at her hip s,’ ‘Look at her thigh gap.’ I don’t have to worry about that.”
In light of her successes, Aden has been praised for changing the stereotypes surrounding Muslim women, particularly in the fashion and beauty industries.
Speaking of modern standards of beauty, she told Vogue: “I have a friend who wears the most revealing clothes…and I’m like, ‘Girl if that’s what makes you feel happy and beautiful – go ahead’…But it’s ironic because people will s**t-shame her, but then apparently they think I’m oppressed because I choose to do the opposite and cover my body.”