Halima Aden is the first U.S. model to wear a hijab on Allure’s cover as the magazine’s July issue celebrates American beauty.
Aden, 19, wears Nike’s first-ever hijab and a red, white, and blue hoodie on the cover above the caption “This Is American Beauty.”
In November, the Minnesotan became the first Miss Teen Minnesota contestant to compete in a hijab and a burkini (for the swimsuit competition). The model also participated in recent shows for Yeezy, Max Mara, and Alberta Ferretti.
Aden said she chooses to wear the traditional Muslim headscarf and cover her body to honor her mother, with whom she emigrated to the U.S. when she was 7 to escape a Kenyan refugee camp.
“It’s how I interpret my religion,” she told Allure, “but there are women who are Muslim who choose not to wear the hijab. That’s something people often forget.”
Aden said her clothing choices free her from the body pressures models can often become caught up in.
“Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way,” she said in the Allure interview. “I have much more to offer than my physical appearance.” She looks at the hijab as protection from those pressures and criticisms.
Aden says she doesn’t worry she will be a target as a result of her decision to wear a hijab.
“If you think people are against you and that you’re a target, things will start appearing that way. I just go about my day, and I don’t think anyone is out to get me,” she told the magazine.
Twitter users were supportive of the hijab-wearing model.
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