She is the first woman to ever compete in a hijab and burkini.
Minnesota has been making waves lately. On November 8, Ilhan Omar joined the House of Representatives as the first Somali-American Muslim woman to ever be elected as a legislator. And just last weekend, a 19-year-old Muslim woman competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in her traditional garb.
The teen, Halima Aden, made history as the first contestant to ever compete wearing a hijab and a burkini, and she was met with cheers when she took the stage.
“You don’t let being the first to do it stop you or get in the way,” she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “I take that as a challenge…to give it a try.”
While Aden did not take the crown, she did make the top 15. She is definitely celebrating her performance in the pageant, telling KARE11: “This is a big win for us. I’m hoping to see more Muslim women wearing burkinis, being celebrated.”
Halima wants to show other women that they can be brave enough to be who they are. “For a really long time I thought being different was a negative thing,” she told CBS Minnesota. “But,” she added, quoting Dr. Seuss, “I started to realize we were all born to stand out.” She went on to add: “How boring would this world be if everyone was the same?”
Halima is so strong and so brave to break down this barrier for Muslim women, and we hope the message is lasting. “It takes courage to live your life with conviction and embrace the person you are,” but that makes it more important than ever.