AT A TIME WHEN HIJABIS ARE FACING INCREASED OPPOSITION, HALIMA ADEN IS BREAKING ALL STEREOTYPES
From a Kenyan refugee camp to now being the cover girl for Allure, Halima Aden’s journey has been a spectacular one. Her new role is especially significant for the many Muslims around the world who are facing increasing discrimination for wearing the hijab and a growing number of anti-Muslim incidents.
— Halima Aden (@Kinglimaa) June 20, 2017
The 19-year-old model was born in a Kenyan refugee camp and moved to Minnesota at the age of six. She says that her time at the refugee camp helped her learn the value of diversity and acceptance, and believes that it was a great force in shaping her personality today.
Aden became a modeling sensation when she competed in the beauty contest for Miss Minnesota in her hijab and a burkini. She believes that as a model, she is sure to “bust stereotypes of Muslim women”. Aden features in all modeling pictures with her hijab, although she says that wearing a hijab is not compulsory for Muslim girls. She revealed that the hijab is an option that Muslim women are free to choose, and she herself wears a hijab by her own choice and has been doing so since her childhood in imitation of her mother. Her aim behind doing so is to destroy the stereotypes that Muslims face and to show the world the reality of being a Muslim.
Aden recalls the insults, slurs, bullying and so on, that she faced as she grew up. Being a “hijabi” in school and college was an open invitation to being teased, but rather than discourage her from wearing her religious symbol, Aden chose to stick to it with pride. She does not care about what people say. “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 points out.
Even with increased hostility to hijabis, the world of fashion and sports is welcoming the hijab in an attempt to include Muslim women. Nike recently introduced a range of hijabs, specially designed for Muslim sportswomen. Muslim fashion designers are becoming popular, and a new range of Muslim-friendly fashion is budding up. The choice to put Aden as the cover girl for Allure could not have come at a better time.