How’s this for some positive change? Halima Aden will appear in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition as the first hijab-wearing model featured in the “shattering perceptions” themed issue. Aden was shot by Yu Tsai in two burkinis, custom made for the shoot, by designers No Ka’Oi and Cynthia Rowley.
“SI Swimsuit has been at the forefront of changing the narrative and conversation on social issues and preconceived notions. I’m hoping this specific feature will open doors up for my Somali community, Muslim community, refugee community and any other community that can relate to being different,” Aden says. “This feature is proving that a fully covered hijab wearing model can confidently stand alongside a beautiful woman in a revealing bikini and together they can celebrate one another, cheer each other on, and champion each other’s successes. Young Muslim women need to know that there is a modest swimsuit option available to them so they can join the swim team, participate in swim class at school, and go with their friends to the beach. Muslim girls should feel confident taking that step and doing so comfortably while wearing a burkini.”
“Having Halima as a part of SI Swimsuit is yet another example of the range and scope of the type of beauty that exists,” SI editor MJ Day explains. “Her participation and inclusion further highlights the brands commitment and belief in supporting women to own who they are and what makes them unique and ultimately reaffirms what our messaging has been, that you are worthy.”
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue hits stands on May 8th.