Model Halima Aden made Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue history by becoming the first Muslim woman to wear a hijab and burkini in the magazine.
“This is literally a dream come true,” Aden says in a SI.com video. “Growing up in the States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab.
She was born in Kenya at the Kakuma refugee camp where she lived until the age of 7 before she moved to the United States. This photo shoot was done on Watamu Beach on the Kenyan coast with fashion photographer Yu Tsai. While doing the photo shoot, Aden thinks of the six-year-old her, who in this same country was in a refugee camp.
“We are now seeing politicians, business women, television reporters, and other successful hijabi women in visible roles and that is the message we need to be sending,” she said.
Aden is no stranger to breaking boundaries. In 2016 she was the first fully-covered Muslim contestant to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Afterwards, she is signed to IMG Models and went on to become the first hijab-wearing model to walk international runways. In June 2017, she became the first hijab-wearing model on the cover of Vogue Arabia, Allure, and British Vogue.