Sports Illustrated to feature burkini-clad model

Somali-American model Halima Aden, a Muslim, posing in a hijab and burkini, the full-length swimsuit worn by some Muslim women. The 21-year-old's rookie spread in Sports Illustrated will be set in Kenya, where she was born.
Somali-American model Halima Aden, a Muslim, posing in a hijab and burkini, the full-length swimsuit worn by some Muslim women. The 21-year-old's rookie spread in Sports Illustrated will be set in Kenya, where she was born.PHOTO: SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/TWITTER

WASHINGTON • Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue, best known for its racy covers of scantily-clad bikini models, will feature for the first time a Muslim model wearing a hijab and burkini.

Somali-American Halima Aden's rookie spread will be set in Kenya, where she was born in a refugee camp and lived until the age of seven. "Growing up in the (United) States, I never really felt represented because I never could flip through a magazine and see a girl who was wearing a hijab," she said in a video tweeted by the magazine.

Sports Illustrated posted a picture of her lying down in shallow water, wearing a turquoise hijab, long yellow earrings and a deep blue burkini - the full-length swimsuit worn by some Muslim women.

Ms Aden, 21, made headlines at age 19 when she was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA Pageant, where she made the semi-finals in 2016.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2019, with the headline 'Sports Illustrated to feature burkini-clad model'. Print Edition | Subscribe