Halima Aden, the first hijabi model to be on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue

Sports Illustrated

Somali-American supermodel, Halima Aden has made history by wearing hijab and burkini in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

This Muslim supermodel traversed a long and arduous journey. She was a refugee who came to America at the age of six. Growing up in America as a hijabi woman she never felt represented in the media. In her own words, “I could never flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab.”

This is not the first time she broke a cultural barrier. In 2016, she wore a burkini and hijab to Miss Minnesota. She eventually made it to the semi-finals. Her adage was, “Don’t be afraid to be the first.”

The stunning cover of SI was done in the Watamu Beach in Kenya. She was photographed by Yu Tsai.

She remarked on the photo shoot saying, “I empower women by staying true to myself and also encouraging them to go out and not to be scared to be the first. If you don’t see yourself represent in any given field, take it upon yourself to be the first.”

In the mainstream media of America, Hijab is becoming more acceptable. In March, Vogue published their cover which featured three Black hijabi models. They were Ikram Abdi Omar, Amina Adan and Halima Aden.




Jayita Sardar

Aspiring journalist working for sportzbusiness.com and exploring the juncture of sports, business and technology. Interested in sports economy and logistics of sports policy-making.

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