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    Users Split Over Halima Aden as 1st Burkini-Wearing Model in Sports Illustrated

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    This is not the first time that Halima Aden, a Muslim Somali-American model, has made international headlines: in 2018, she became the first model of colour to wear a hijab on the cover of British Vogue.

    Halima Aden, a former Miss Minnesota USA semi-finalist, has made a big splash, becoming the first model to wear a colourful burkini and hijab in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated (SI) magazine.

    The Muslim model of Somali descent who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp where she lived until she moved to the United States, returned to her birth country for the photoshoot together with fashion photographer Yu Tsai.

    “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”, Aden told SI.

    While the majority of media outlets keep saying that the 21-year-old has broken boundaries with her burkini debut in SI's Swimsuit edition, out in May, most social media users tend to not agree with that.

    READ MORE: British Vogue Features Hijab-Wearing Model on Cover for First Time (PHOTOS)

    Many have claimed that her outfit was promoting “oppression” and “control” and even dubbed it “#1 symbol of women’s lack of freedom”:

    Some said that the idea behind the SI Swimsuit edition was to actually wear one:

    Others, however, felt compelled to defend both the model and the magazine for using the “power of fashion” to promote diversity and inclusivity:

    Aden, who was also the first contestant in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant to wear a burkini and a hijab, became the first hijab-wearing model to appear on the covers of Vogue Arabia in the June 2017 issue and US magazine Allure in July 2017.

    Tags:
    diversity, divers, oppression, fashion, Muslim, photoshoot, photos, magazine, sports, swimsuit, burkini, outrage, burka, hijab, model, Kenya, Somalia, United States
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