As if we needed more proof that Halima Aden is one kickass model, the 19-year-old just scored her first major American beauty magazine cover — and it's epic!
Fronting Allure's July "American issue," Aden is seen sporting a Nike hijab, as well as an activewear sweater in the colours of the U.S. flag: red, white and blue. On the cover, the mag describes her as "Muslim. Model. Destroyer of Stereotypes."
Allure is referring to the fact that Aden has already broken stereotypes in the fashion industry by becoming the first hijab-wearing model to compete in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant, walk in Kanye West's fall 2017 Yeezy show at New York Fashion Week, and land a Vogue Arabia cover.
But that's not all. Aden is also redefining what beauty is and is using her hijab as a way to protect herself from inevitable body shamers.
"Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way," the Somali-American model told Allure. "I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against: 'You're too skinny,' 'You're too thick,' 'Look at her hips,' 'Look at her thigh gap.' I don't have to worry about that."
Aden originally began wearing a hijab because of her mom. However, she now proudly wears the headscarf because, "It's how I interpret my religion."
"But there are women who are Muslim who choose not to wear the hijab," she added. "That's something people often forget."
Since finding success in the fashion industry, Aden says she hopes she can inspire other women.
"My goal is to send a message to Muslim women and young women everywhere that it's OK to break stereotypes and be yourself," the 19-year-old told Vogue during NYFW. "Always stay true to who you are — barriers can and will be broken!"
Aden's Allure cover is another example of how the model is breaking down barriers in the fashion industry. But it is also an empowering declaration on Allure's part for deeming Aden — and hijab-wearing women everywhere — as beautiful and as part of what makes America beautiful. After all, the mag's cover line reads, "This is American Beauty."
This simple statement is so reaffirming at a time when Muslims in the U.S. are being misrepresented in the media.
"The people that are doing bad things, they don't represent an entire group," Aden told ABC7 last year. "I feel like I'm here to bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women."
Aden and Allure are certainly a match made in heaven, and this cover deserves all sorts of applause.
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