Muslim teen to don hijab, burkini in Miss Minnesota USA pageant
A Somali-American woman is set to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant while wearing a hijab
A Somali-American woman is set to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant while wearing a hijab and remaining fully covered.
Halima Aden, 19, who spent time in a refugee camp in Kenya in her youth, will wear a burkini during the swimwear section of the pageant and will modify evening gowns, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.
“This pageant is so much more than just beauty. Their whole message is being confidently beautiful, so I didn’t think that I should allow my hijab to get into the way of me participating,” Aden said in a statement.
“This is a great platform to show the world who I am ... just because I’ve never seen a woman wearing a burkini (in a pageant) it doesn’t mean that I don’t have to be the first.”
Denise Wallace, executive co-director of the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, said in a statement that the company values diversity, adding that Aden’s decision to don a burkini “is in line with the values of the Miss Universe Organization in empowering women to be confidently beautiful.”
If Aden wins Miss Minnesota USA, set to take place on December 2 and 3, she would qualify to go on to the Miss USA competition.