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.
Halima Aden starts off Miss Minnesota USA's swimsuit segment to big cheers from the crowd. Announcer: "She's making history tonight." pic.twitter.com/OUvbHv6xct
— Liz Sawyer (@ByLizSawyer) November 27, 2016
"Be You" was what my aunt always told me. And tonight I finally realized what she meant. This has been such a fun…
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