When you first think of Sports Illustrated, maybe you see a tall, blond and leggy model a la Gisele Bundchen in a bikini, frolicking in the waves with her booty sticking out towards the camera.
While there’s nothing wrong with that version which the magazine has tried time and time again, SI surprised us all with its recent choice of cover girl Halima Aden.
This Somalian American 21 year old is an undeniable stunner – but instead of donning the usual tiny bikini, she’s proudly rocking a hijab and burkini, on the front page of a wildly popular magazine notorious for its provocative covers.
Born in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, Halima moved to the U.S at seven years old. With a hijab that showcases an angelic, goddess-like face, it’s no surprise that she’s skyrocketed to the top of the modeling industry.
She’s breaking boundaries with her modest (although extremely cute) style and creative use of headscarves and color.
She’s beaming with positivity, confidence, and strength – just the role model that our girls need right now. She models a Burkini – this garment was created in 2016 in order to cover the body yet being light enough to enjoy swimming.
Aden is ecstatic and feels honored to be a part of Sports Illustrated and their inclusive revolution to showcase modest women and their beauty in a way that many mainstream media giants have not.
It’s the perfect response in the face of a lot of Islamaphobic rhetoric – Islam is beautiful, and Ms. Aden is a shining example of that. Plus, all of her burkinis are very chic. We love the all black with her name custom printed on it!
She explains that there were never too many hijab girls in magazine representing when she was younger, but we are glad that she can be this empowering icon for so many future generations out there.
Some people might be compelled to react with anger towards something that they don’t understand, but instead, need to learn to treat Aden and others with respect towards other cultures that have nothing to do with their own misunderstandings.
Halima Aden shows that modesty can be a form of empowerment, not oppression. She looks like a queen expressing her style and personality in every shot – we don’t see any imprisonment there!