Halima Aden is a Somali-American that was born in a refugee camp in Kenya. By the age of 6 she was then moved to Minnesota. Aden is a teenager who hopes to diversify the stereotypical image of beauty pageant contests as well as beauty in general. Growing up, Aden discovered that there were not many other women like her in the media.
“As long as I could remember, the media portrays Muslim women as oppressed and in a very negative light, but you never see the beauty and the good things that come from Muslim women.” she says
In November, Halima participated in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant; in a Hijab. She however did not advance to the next stage (top 15) but she was content and she felt like she took a big win. Halima doesn’t compromise her values and instead of a bikini, she opted for burkini, a whole body swimsuit designed for Muslim Athletes.
At 19 Halima didn’t wait around to see someone that would dress like her nor looked like her to compete in beauty pagents. She wants to be her authentic self and she hopes to serve as an inspiration to other Muslim girls especially the ones that feel inadequate or don’t believe in themselves because of a false media representation. Halima believes that everyone is beautiful in their own way and this can be shown without having to change ones values to conform to a certain standard of beauty.
Halima is indeed no stranger to breaking stereotypes as well as overcoming obstacles. She is known to be the first Muslim that had been crowned as her high school’s (St Clouds Apollo) Homecoming Queen and she is also known to be the first ever Somali-American to participate in the Student Government at her collage. Halima’s dream is to become a UN ambassador after she completes school at the St Clouds Apollo University.
“What I wanted to do was just to give people a different perspective, we just needed one more thing to unify us. This is a small act, but I feel like having the title of Miss Minnesota USA when you are a Somali-American, when you are a Muslim woman, I think that would open up people’s eyes.”
Halima has continued on her journey to success since she made a name for herself on the Miss Minnesota stage. She was signed with IMG Models on a three year renewable contract and in February 2017, she made a debut at the New York Fashion Week for Yeezy Season 5. She is the first model to walk the runway with a hijab and the first to be on the cover of Vogue Arabia and Allure. On what’s next for her, she will be a preliminary and telecast judge of the Miss USA 2017 pageant.
MuslimInc would like to congratulate her in advance and we hope to write more of her accomplishments.