Pioneering Minnesota model announces retirement from industry

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 25: Halima Aden attends House Of Uoma Presents The Launch Of Uoma Beauty – The World’s First “Afropolitan” Makeup Brand at NeueHouse Hollywood on April 25, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury / Getty Ima

Somali-American model Halima Aden has announced that she is taking a step back from the fashion industry, saying the pandemic slowdown has allowed her to see cases where her desire to maintain a hijab was not properly respected.

In a detailed Instagram story, Aden wrote this week that she “isn’t rushing into the fashion industry” and has finally heard her mother’s pleas “to open my eyes.”

“My mom asked me to quit modeling a long time ago. I wish I wasn’t so defensive, ”the 23-year-old model wrote. “Thanks to COVID and the break with the industry, I finally figured out where I went wrong on my hijab trip. “

Aden became the first model to wear the hijab on the catwalks in Milan and New York, and appeared on numerous magazine covers and in print campaigns.

Born in a refugee camp in Kenya, she moved to the United States with her family at the age of 7 and was the first Muslim queen to come home to her high school in Minnesota, the first Somali student senator from her college and the first woman wearing the hijab in the Miss USA Minnesota pageant.

In her Instagram posts, Aden explained where she felt the religious hijab had been respected – for example in a campaign for Rihanna’s Fenty beauty line – and where it got lost, showing one case where her head had been. wrapped in jeans.

“I was so desperate at the time for any ‘performance’ that I lost touch with who I was,” she wrote on one post, and on another, wearing a scarf encrusted with crystals, she said “” I should have left the set because clearly the stylist didn’t have a woman in the hijab in mind.

She said her acceptance of situations that showed disrespect for her beliefs was due to a mixture of rebellion and naivety. “What I blame the industry for is the lack of MUSLIM stylists,” she wrote.


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