This Teen Is the First Ever Miss USA Contestant to Wear a Burkini
Usually, we aren’t that excited about beauty pageant news. We mean, really, there are pageants, people win a crown, the cycle continues. Not much to report, right? Well, as of this past weekend, the pageant world got a whole lot more exciting and interesting with the Miss Minnesota USA pageant’s Somali-born contestant Halima Aden. While we’ve mostly been obsessing over The Crown, this new development is one that might actually get us excited about pageants for the first time ever.
Sunday night’s Miss Minnesota USA Pageant had Halima compete in her hijab, a traditional Muslim head covering for women. The 19-year-old is the first pageant contestant ever to don one in competition. During the swimsuit portion, Halima wore her “burkini,” the name given to a full piece swimsuit originally designed simply for modest women to wear at the beach, but embraced by Muslim women the world over.
While her mother isn’t 100-percent on board with her competing in Miss USA, Halima, who hopes to be a UN Ambassador in the future, sees that inter-generational differences should be both embraced and challenged, “We (Halima and her mom) do come from two different generations. I feel like we’re a little bit more Americanized than our parents are. She doesn’t understand it because it’s not something that exists back home.”
Unfortunately, Halima didn’t take home the crown this time (but was a semi-finalist!), but her passion for helping show people that their similarities are stronger than their differences will hopefully carry over, and we’ll see more women of different faiths participating in pageants across the country soon. That would definitely make us way more interested in checking them out in the future.
Would you like to see more diversity in beauty pageants? Tell us @BritandCo!
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!