Halima Aden Makes History As First Model To Rock A Hijab & Burkini For ‘Sports Illustrated’

Model and Activist Halima Aden poses during Glamour Celebrates 2017 Women Of The Year Live Summit at Brooklyn Museum on November 13, 2017 in New York City.
Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images for Glamour

The modeling career of Halima Aden began with a history-making milestone. Now, her career has been thrust to the next level, once again with a move for the history books. On Monday, Sports Illustrated took to its verified Instagram page for its Swimsuit Issue to announce that the 21-year-old model would grace the pages of its upcoming 2019 edition, marking the first time a model will appear wearing a hijab and burkini.

Sports Illustrated took to the popular social media platform Monday morning to make the announcement by pairing it with an image of the Somalian-American beauty rocking a bright electric blue burkini, which she paired with a gorgeous African inspired garment that flows over her swimsuit. She completed her look with a matching hijab, which ties at the top of her head. Keeping with the African theme of her shoot, she wore a pair of large dangling yellow earrings that fall onto the water where Halima is posing for the shot.

Halima, who previously made history for being the first woman to ever wear a hijab during in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, where she was a semifinalist, is lying on her side in a body of water while striking a sexy, playful pose. She has one leg in front of the other while she rests her head on one hand. Her other hand is, at the same time, resting on her head.

As Sports Illustrated noted, the young model was born at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, where she lived until the age of 7 when she moved to the United States. For her Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Issue rookie spread, she jetted off to her birth country earlier this year to shoot at Watamu Beach with photographer Yu Tsai, the report further added.

“I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Halima told Sports Illustrated during her shoot. “So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”

The post, which Sports Illustrated shared with its swimsuit-centric account’s almost 2 million Instagram followers, garnered more than 5,600 likes and over 164 comments within a couple of hours of having been posted. Users of the social media platform took to the comments section to praise Halima’s beauty and share their excitement of the milestone for inclusion in the modeling industry.

“YESSSSSSS ABSOLUTELY LOVEEEEEE,” one user wrote.