Halima Aden makes waves as first hijab-clad Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model

Somali-American Halima Aden has walked on runways around the world. (AFP)
Updated 30 April 2019
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Halima Aden makes waves as first hijab-clad Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model

  • The photo shoot will be in Kenya, the model's birthplace
  • Halima was the first to wear a hijab in Miss Minnesota USA Pageant

DUBAI: Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue will feature a model wearing a hijab and burkini for the first time, the magazine said Monday.

Somali-American model Halima Aden’s rookie spread will be set in Kenya, where she was born in a refugee camp and lived until the age of seven, AFP reported.

“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,” Aden said in a video tweeted by the magazine.

Sports Illustrated also posted a picture of her posing lying down in shallow water, wearing a turquoise hijab, long yellow earrings and a deep blue burkini — the full-length swimsuit favored by some Muslim women.

“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 and the entire team for giving me this incredible opportunity,” the model posted on Instagram as she reveled the news.

Aden, 21, made headlines at age 19 when she was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, where she made the semifinals in 2016.

She has previously featured on the cover of British Vogue and walked on the New York Fashion Week runway.

In July 2018, Aden has revealed that she has her coverage requirements built into her contract with IMG Models.

In an interview with CBS News, she revealed that she addressed personal concerns about modesty in her contract with the leading modeling agency.

“When I got that opportunity to sign with IMG models, I made sure I wasn’t conforming,” she said. “Our first-ever sit-down was four hours, and I did it on my own terms.

“Every time I go on set, I know that the people who are doing the shoot already know my requirements. They know what I can wear, they already have an understanding, and I’ve always felt safe.”

The model also recently made her debut as a designer with a range of headscarves created in collaboration with modest e-tailer Modanisa.

The range of 27 headscarves was unveiled in April.


What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

Updated 18 min 31 sec ago
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What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

The River Ki, short and swift and broad like most Japanese rivers, flows into the sea not far south of Osaka. On its journey seaward, it passes through countryside that has long been at the heart of the Japanese tradition. 

The River Ki dominates the lives of the people who live in its fertile valley and imparts a vital strength to the three women, mother, daughter and granddaughter, around whom this novel is built.

It provides them with the courage to cope, in their different ways, with the unprecedented changes that occurred in Japan between the last years of the last century and the middle of this century.

Sawako Ariyoshi, one of Japan’s most successful modern novelists, describes this social and cultural revolution largely through the eyes of Hana, a woman with the vision and integrity to understand the inevitability of the death of the traditional order in Japan, says a review published on googlereads.com.

Ariyoshi writes with a love for detail bound to a broader understanding of the importance of the geographical and biological forces that mold her characters — and the result is a story that flows with all the vitality of The River Ki itself.