10 Things About Halima Aden, Allure's Hijab-Wearing Cover Girl

Halima Aden is set to become your new favourite it-girl. Here’s why

Have you seen the July cover of Allure? It’s striking. For the first time in its history, the magazine has featured a hijab-wearing model on its cover. “Meet Halima,” says Allure. “Muslim. Model. Destroyer of Stereotypes.”

Proudly sporting a Nike Pro Hijab and a bright red hoodie, Halima Aden serves up the fresh look with the words “This is American Beauty” printed below. If that wasn’t groundbreaking enough, look closely and you’ll see the faint hint of braces peeking out from her smile.

You may have first heard Aden’s name back in February when Kanye West debuted his Yeezy Season 5 collection at Pier 59 during New York Fashion Week. The 19-year-old Somali-American rocked a floor-length fur coat on the runway—and became the first woman to walk a Yeezy show in a hijab.

#yeezy #nyfw2017

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

“It’s unbelievable. I never thought that I would see a hijab-wearing model walking in such a prestigious event, but it makes it even more exciting that it was me,” she later told People

Aden’s come a long way from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya where she was born. As Allure explains, Aden moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota in the U.S. with her mom when she was seven years old and started taking part in beauty pageants. It was only a matter of time before she was signed to IMG Models, where she now holds a three-year contract. Aden landed her first magazine cover this past June, becoming the first hijab-wearing model for Vogue Arabia. 

Here are some more awe-inspiring facts about the model of the moment.

She’s more than just a pretty face

Aden’s experience as a refugee has inspired her to take part in a variety of humanitarian initiatives because she says she “knew poverty first hand.” In addition to her modelling work, she’s enrolled at St. Cloud State University and dreams of one day working with the United Nations and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). 

What keeps me focused.. thank you so much for supporting me

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

She embraces her braces

Aden has worn braces since she was 13—but she had them removed temporarily to take part in a beauty pageant.

It just didn’t feel right though, she told The Cut. “When I competed for the pageant, I decided to take them off. I wanted to look my absolute best. I thought it would make me more confident. But taking them off I still felt about the same,” she said. “People were still as welcoming, nothing changed. So I thought, braces didn’t impact that. After that, I decided that I’m going to keep them on, they’re a part of who I am.”

“Besides, I know it’s something a lot of girls are insecure,” she continued. “I know I was when I was in high school. You hear comments like Brace Face or Train Tracks. It can make you insecure about your teeth. So I thought, What a great way to show people I’m not perfect. My teeth aren’t perfect. But I’m still modelling.”

Preach.

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

She rocked a burkini at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant 

And she was the first person to ever do so.

Aden may not have won the competition—but she made history, and placed in the top 15.

“A lot of people will look at you and will fail to see your beauty because you’re covered up and they’re not used to it,” she told a local Minnesota news station, after the show. “Be who you are. It’s easy to feel like you have to blend in, but it takes courage to live your life with conviction and embrace the person that you are.”

She chills with Gigi Hadid and Ashley Graham

We’re just in awe of the celebs making cameos on Aden’s Insta.

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

Her beauty routine starts in the kitchen cupboard

Brb, we’re stocking up on honey, brown sugar, oats and aloe. Apparently, those few ingredients are the secrets to Aden’s glowing skin. After she washes her face, Aden told the The Cut she wears a honey mask for 15 to 30 minutes to keep her skin feeling smooth. She also sleeps with aloe vera gel to remove any puffiness from her face. Once a week, she exfoliates with an oatmeal mask and uses a combo of brown sugar and more honey on her lips.

#nationalselfieday

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

Yep, we’d rock #NationalSelfieDay too if our skin looked like that!

She was voted her high school’s homecoming queen

Vogue reported that Aden was the first Muslim homecoming queen in her high school—her classmates elected her for the role, and it brought the whole school together.

“I saw how even something as small as that brought my community and my school together, how it encouraged other girls like me to join student government and clubs,” she told the magazine.

After that moment, she remembers other girls in hijabs at her school coming up to her and saying “‘Oh, I want to go to prom’ or ‘How do I get into orchestra?’ Stuff that I had no idea about, but they were still coming to me for advice.”

She’s a role model for young Muslim girls 

On Instagram, Aden recently shared these inspiring words: “I remember being a little girl who couldn’t find a single picture that resembled me in any magazine and today I am that picture that was missing from my childhood. I hope my journey will inspire you to have no limits.”

It looks like it’s working. In Allure’s latest video, Aden is teaching young Muslim girls to model. It’s awesome.

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