Muslim Sports Illustrated model Halima Aden becomes first woman to pose in burkini for mag’s iconic Swimsuit Issue


MUSLIM model Halima Aden poses in an all-covering burkini in historic snaps that will appear in US magazine Sports Illustrated’s famous Swimsuit Issue.

Halima, 21, is the first model wearing the Islamic law-abiding beachwear to appear in the magazine’s pages in its 65-year history.


Yu Tsai / Sl Swimsuit

American-Somali model Halima Aden poses in a burkini for pics due to appear in Sports Illustrated’s iconic Swimsuit Issue[/caption]

Yu Tsai / Sl Swimsuit

Halima, 21, has become the first model to wear a burkini in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue[/caption]

The Somali-American beauty – born in a refugee camp in Kenya – returned to the country of her birth to model for the stunning pics.

She was photographed by Yu Tsai frolicking in the sands of the picturesque Watamu Beach.

The snaps will appear in Sports Illustrated’s much anticipated Swimsuit Issue – which will be released on May 8.

But ahead of publication, the mag shared some of the photos online as it announced yesterday that Halima is the newest member of its 2019 rookie class of models.


One pic shows her lying across the wed sand wearing a colourful geometric print burkini.

In another, she models wearing a red hijab and a custom-made burkini featuring a beaded mock-turtleneck and sleeves.

Halima grew up at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya before moving to the US at the age of seven.

Reflecting on her meteoric rise through the modelling ranks, Halima told Sports Illustrated: “I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp.

“So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya – I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”


A behind-the-scenes video released by Sports Illustrated also shows the model on the set of her glam shoot.

In the clip, a beaming Halima says: “This is literally a dream come true – I can’t even tell you how this feels.”

She also jokes that she is a “burkini babe” before speaking about the importance of “representation” in the modelling industry.

Halima adds: “‘Growing up in the States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab.

“In high school, I was my town’s first homecoming queen.

This is literally a dream come true – I can’t even tell you how this feels

Halima AdenModel

“I think that was my first glimpse of wow, I put myself out there. I made friends with my peers.

“They liked me enough to nominate me, and I want to continue that in college.

“So, that’s exactly what I did.

“I became my college’s first Muslim Somali student senator, and after that, I remember thinking, ‘What next?’

“And that’s when I came across the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant.”


Halima entered the 2016 pageant – becoming the first contestant to wear a hijab.

She said: “It’s scary because it’s not my culture to do pageantry.

“It’s very much an American culture.

“But that’s always been my messaging.

“Don’t be afraid to be the first.’”

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day said: “We believe beauty knows no boundaries.

“I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador.

“She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside. When we met, I was instantaneously taken by her intelligence, enthusiasm, and authenticity.”

Yu Tsai / Sl Swimsuit

Halima, who grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp, described her experience posing for the snaps as a ‘dream come true’[/caption]

Getty – Contributor

Halima has become one of the most in-demand models in the US in recent years[/caption]


The 21-year-old model will appear in the next issue of Sports Illustrated[/caption]


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