Via Twitter, Sports Illustrated announced that Somali-American model Halima Aden will be the first woman to wear a hijab and burkini—a full-body swimsuit worn by some Muslim women—to be featured in their magazine.
Referring to herself as a “burkini babe” Halima said in a video that it was “a dream come true” and shared why it means so much to her. “Growing up in the 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.
She also wrote on Instagram that “Being in Sports Illustrated is so much bigger than me. It’s sending a message to my community and the world that women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings… can stand together and be celebrated.”
M.J. Day, the editor of the swimsuit issue, said in a statement that she and Halima “both believe the ideal of beauty is so vast and subjective.” Adding, “We both know that women are so often perceived to be one way or one thing based on how they look or what they wear.”
Ultimately, she stressed: “Whether you feel your most beautiful and confident in a burkini or a bikini, you are worthy.”