A young Somali woman in Minnesota is making history. Halima Aden is a Muslim-American who recently competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, wearing a hijab throughout the competition. Aden is a 19 years old Somali-American born in a Kenyan refugee camp. She moved to the St. Cloud area of Minnesota, a destination for many Somali refugees, at the age of six.
Aden decided to participate in the Miss Minnesota pageant and was selected as one of the top 15. Aden certainly was not your average contestant. Over the two days of competition, she stood apart from the other young women as she was glamorous in her hijab and burkini while the other contestants wore extravagant gowns and bikinis. Aden emphasized that a lot of people would fail to see beauty when one is covered up as society is not used to that. She went on to explain that while she was growing up, she had to concentrate on her people skills and allow others the opportunity to get to know her instead of just judging her by her clothing.
Aden’s beauty was definitely noticed throughout the Miss Minnesota pageant, which concluded on Saturday, November 26. She received huge applause and cheers from the audience while appearing onstage in her stunning blue burkini during the swimsuit competition. The head scarf she donned was golden in color and she completed the outfit with a pair of heeled booties. During the formal wear competition, Aden wore a black and red gown with a floral print on its skirt. She proudly declared that she felt she was there to break all the stereotypes and misconceptions about Muslim women.
Even though she didn’t win the Miss Minnesota pageant, Aden was proud of her achievement. She asserted that taking part in the competition meant far more than just the title. Aden said she received wonderful messages from people who had been bullied because of their religious attire or who had children who were picked on for it. She urges others to never let anything get in their way.
Halima Aden is currently attending St. Cloud State University and is a freshman.