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Meet Halima Aden, the First Burkini and Hijab-wearing Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

If you are not familiar with the name Halima Aden, get yourself acquainted with the model because she’s made history by being the first Muslim woman to pose wearing a hijab and burkini in a Sports Illustrated Magazine Issue. In its 55 year history of publishing, the magazine has never had a model grace their issues wearing this specific kind of apparel.

Aden, the model of the hour, is a Somali-American who was born in Kenya. According to SI Swim, she lived in the Kakuma Refugee Camp up to the age of 7, before her family decided to migrate to the United States.

According to the magazine’s editor, they shot on location at the white sand beaches of Malindi in Kenya, as well as at the Masai Mara National Reserve, where they were greeted by roaming giraffes when they arrived.  Aden has never visited those places, so she lost it big time upon setting foot in those two places.

Aden wore two different custom-made burkinis for the shoot, which were created by Cynthia Rowley. Burkinis are modest swimwear originally made in Australia by Aheda Zanetti, with the purpose of honoring Islamic tradition of covering a woman’s body except the hand, feet, and face.  Despite using more amount of fabric, burkinis are specially made to be light to make swimming comfortable. The beautiful photos were shot through the lens of the talented photographer, Yu Tsai.

Aden made sure to document her whole experience, which is why she shared a few videos and photos on her Instagram page, with a very empowering caption that begins with “Don’t change yourself…change the Game!” Sports Illustrated Magazine Issue has been around since 1964, and it is known to have launched the careers of many well known models today, such as Tyra Banks, Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, and Christie Brinkley.

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