Turning over a new leaf? Muslim model Halima Aden makes history as the first woman to pose in a BURKINI for Sports Illustrated’s iconic Swimsuit Issue
- Sports Illustrated announced on Monday that Halima, 21, is the newest member of its 2019 rookie class and will appear in the upcoming issue
- The Somali-American model was born at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and lived their until she immigrated to the United States a the age of seven
- Halima’s shoot took place in her birth country at Watamu Beach
Halima Aden has made history by becoming the first Muslim model to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue wearing a hijab and a burkini.
The 21-year-old Somali-American was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, and she returned to her birth country for her first shoot with the magazine, which was photographed by Yu Tsai at Watamu Beach.
Sports Illustrated announced on Monday that Halima is the newest member of its 2019 rookie class, sharing some of the model’s photos from her historic spread.
Breaking boundaries: Halima Aden, 21, has become the first Muslim model o be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue wearing a hijab and a burkini
Stunning: The model was photographed lying in the sand wearing a colorful geometric print burkini
One image shows her lying on the wet sand wearing a colorful geometric print burkini. In another, she is modeling a red hijab and a custom-made burkini featuring a beaded mock-turtleneck and sleeves.
Halima lived at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya before moving to the United States at the age of seven, and she couldn’t help but reflect on her amazing journey during her shoot.
‘I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,’ she told Sports Illustrated.
‘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.’
American dream: The Somali-American model was born at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and lived their until she immigrated to the United States a the age of seven
Halima’s shoot took place in her birth country at Watamu Beach
Halima is no stranger to breaking boundaries and making history. In 2016, she was the first woman to wear a hijab and a burkini in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she placed as a semi-finalist.
A year later, she became the hijab-wearing model to sign with a major modeling agency when she joined IMG Models.
‘We believe beauty knows no boundaries,’ said Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day. “I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador.
‘She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside. When we met, I was instantaneously taken by her intelligence, enthusiasm and authenticity,’ she added.
The editor said that she and Halima ‘bonded immediately over the idea of her participating in this year’s issue,’ marking the first time such modest swimwear is to appear in the highly-anticipated issue.
‘We bonded immediately over the idea of her participating in this year’s issue,’ MJ said. ‘We both believe the ideal of beauty is so vast and subjective.
‘We both know that women are so often perceived to be one way or one thing based on how they look or what they wear. Whether you feel your most beautiful and confident in a burkini or a bikini, YOU ARE WORTHY.’