Muslim supermodel becomes first to wear burkini and hijab in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue

Lowenna Waters
Tuesday 30 April 2019 11:30
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A Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has featured its first ever hijab wearing model on the cover, the boundary-breaking Hamila Aden, and people are loving it.

The issue, which is set to hit newsstands on May 8, will feature the Somali-American model on its cover, while she models two custom burkinis.

In a statement about the progressive cover, the magazine's editor MJ Day said that the publication's priorities have shifted, and featuring Aden on the cover is representative of this.

In the release, Day said:

Having Halima as a part of SI Swimsuit is yet another example of the range and scope of the type of beauty that exists.

Her participation and inclusion further highlights the brand’s commitment and belief in supporting women to own who they are and what makes them unique and ultimately reaffirms what our messaging has been, that YOU are worthy.

Speaking to the Huffington Post about the cover, Aden described her appearance on the cover as a 'moment':

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.

Aden was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, before moving to the US aged 7. The model returned to Kenya for the Sports Illustrated shoot at Watama Beach on the southeast coast.

Speaking to Sky News about the cover, she 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 the Sports Illustrated in the most beautiful parts of Kenya - I don't think that's a story that anybody could make up.

She also had a positive message for other young Muslim women, saying in a release quoted in the Huffington Post:

Young Muslim women need to know that there is a modest swimsuit option available to them so they can join the swim team, participate in swim class at school, and go with their friends to the beach.

Muslim girls should feel confident taking that step and doing so comfortably while wearing a burkini.

This isn't the first time the supermodel has made headlines. In 2016, Aden became the first Miss Minnesota contestant to compete wearing a hijab and burkini. She's also the first model to wear a hijab on the cover of Allure magazine.

See the full amazing photo-shoot here:

HT Huff Post

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