Teen wears hijab and burkini in Miss Minnesota USA pageant

Somali-American Halima Aden makes history

A 19-year-old St. Cloud State college student made history over the weekend by becoming the first woman to wear a hijab and burkini in the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant.

Halima Aden received applause as she took to the stage wearing a hijab in the semifinal of the pageant. Aden sported a burkini, swimwear that covers everything but face, feet, and hands, during the bathing suit portion of the competition.


 
 

"Be You" was what my aunt always told me. And tonight I finally realized what she meant. This has been such a fun…

Posted by Halima Aden on Sunday, November 27, 2016

 
It was a great moment, especially considering the controversy surrounding an August ban on the burkini in 15 towns in France.

Aden, who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and moved to Minnesota as a child, spoke to MPR about being the first fully-covered Muslim woman to compete in the event last week.

“What I wanted to do was to just give people a different perspective,” she said. “We just needed one more thing to unify us. This is a small act, but I feel like having the title of Miss Minnesota USA when you are a Somali-American, when you are a Muslim woman, I think that would open up people’s eyes.”

Image via Halima Aden/Facebook