If you pick up the 2019 swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, you’ll see something you’ve never seen in the magazine’s pages before: a model wearing a hijab and a burkini.
Halima Aden, a 21-year-old Somali-American model, is making history with her photos for the iconic magazine, shot by photographer Yu Tsai at Watamu Beach in Kenya.
Aden wore a collection of colorful hijabs and burkinis for the shoot. Some Muslim women wear burkinis, which are swimsuits that cover the entire body except for the face, feet, and hands.
Aden said in the Twitter video below., “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 grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya before immigrating to the United States when she was 7-years-old. She said, “I keep thinking to 6-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp. So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya — I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”
This isn’t the first time Aden has made history. Back in 2016 she became the first woman to wear a hijab onstage during the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.
And she graced the cover of Vogue in that magazine’s first group hijabi cover with models Ikram Abdi Omar and Amina Adan.
Breaking down barriers! Keep it up!