Halima Aden continues to break barriers by becoming the first Muslim woman to wear a hijab and a burkini whilst gracing the pages of the famous Sports Illustrated magazine.
Sports Illustrated isn’t the first achievement for Halima; the Somali-American model has been changing the fashion game for quite some time. At 19, Halima was the first woman to wear a hijab at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant where she finished as a semi-finalist and became internationally recognised. Signing with IMG, the young model has since graced the cover of British Vogue, walked the runways at New York Fashion Week and recently collaborated on a Turban and Shawl collection with Modanisa, showing the world that Muslim women can dominate the fashion world too – can I get a hell yeah!
Born in Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, it seemed almost nonsensical to do the Sports Illustrated spread anywhere but Halima’s home-land. Shot by Yu Tsai, the shoot features Halima frolicking in the waters of Watamu Beach and the photo that has since been posted is positively radiant. Seriously though, just look at that photo, those colours, that woman, the caption! Beauty at its finest.
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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 team at Sports Illustrated strives to spread the message that everyone can be their own kind of beauty, and Halima Aden is a testament to that. Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit editor, MJ Day says, “I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador. She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside.”.
And it’s not just Halima. Sports Illustrated continues smashing beauty perceptions with women like Canadian model Winnie Harlow, who lives with the skin condition vitiligo and plus size model Hunter McGrady – all showcasing just how diverse beauty can be.
“Sports Illustrated is proving that a girl that’s wearing a bikini can be right alongside a girl that’s wearing a burkini,” Halima said in an interview with Good Morning America. In a world where everything is so accessible, it is more important now than ever to represent all kinds of beauty and this shoot has managed that perfectly.
What do you think of Halima’s bright and beautiful burkini shoot for Sports Illustrated? Let us know in the comments below!