Halima Aden has been busy knocking down boundaries in fashion and beauty in the brief year she’s been modeling. She’s landed the cover of Vogue Arabia and CR Fashion Book, and walked various fashion shows, including Max Mara, Alberta Ferretti, and most famously, Yeezy. And Allure just put her on their latest cover with a clear message: Aden is the face of American beauty.
In the July 2017 cover image, Aden strikes a “rock on” pose while wearing a red hoodie, the Nike Pro Hijab, and a gorgeous smokey eye beauty look. We’re hoping the 19-year-old model’s success is an indication that diversity is starting to gain traction in the industry.
Aden grew up in Minnesota after moving from Kenya with her mom, and captured national attention when she won a semi-finalist spot in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant after she graduated from high school. For the pageant, she asked if they could make an exception for the swimsuit competition. She wanted to dress more modestly during that portion, and they agreed.
Aden wanted it to be clear that not all Muslim women wear a hijab; she does by choice. “It’s how I interpret my religion, but there are women who are Muslim who choose not to wear the hijab. That’s something people often forget,” she said in the accompanying story.
But the decision isn’t just about her faith. “Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way. I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against ‘You’re too skinny,’ ‘You’re too thick,’ ‘Look at her hips,’ ‘Look at her thigh gap,'” she said. “I don’t have to worry about that.”
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(Photos via Tristan Fewing/Getty)