The hijab-wearing Muslim model, Halima Aden, has quit runway fashion shows to follow her religious beliefs. In a series of Instagram posts, the 23-year-old American-Somalian model said that the fashion industry had made her stray away from religion.
“I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake,” wrote Aden. Aden was the first hijab-wearing Muslim model to represent many world-famous brands during her career as a model.
Aden said that despite trying to stick to her religious beliefs, she often felt pressured and uncomfortable during photoshoots.
Fam I love Halima Aden. May Allaah bless her and her mum 🥺♥️♥️ pic.twitter.com/8hGGlMSTAx
— fay (@ameetafff) November 24, 2020
The model said that the ongoing pandemic “opened” her eyes. “I have finally realized where I went wrong in my personal hijab journey,” said Aden.
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Aden was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and had moved to the US when she was seven.
“We will never need your representation”
“I’m taking a stand for myself but I’m also taking a stand for all the people who lost their soul to fashion. We will never need your representation,” she added.
Aden first rose to prominence in 2016 when she wore a hijab in the Miss Minnesota pageant USA. Since then she had been flying high and had appeared on the cover of the renowned British fashion magazine Vogue and runways at New York Fashion Week, before quitting.
The model received a mixed response on social media. While others hailed the model for taking a bold stance, some challenged her decision.
Gigi Hadid supports Aden
Supermodel Gigi Hadid lauded Aden for showing up the courage and speaking up her truth.
In an Instagram post, Gigi released a video and supported the model’s decision. She said it is necessary to “self-reflect”.
“Everyone should go check out @Halima’s story right now. It is so important, as a hijabi or not, to self reflect and get back on track with what feels genuine to us. It’s the only way to feel truly fulfilled,” she wrote.
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“I learned through therapy once that if we are assertive with our boundaries, it does not mean that we are ungrateful for opportunity, and it will lead to an end result that does not feel hollow, one where we do not feel taken advantage of. Learning that helped me so much. My sis Halima, you have inspired me since the day I met you and you continue to make me proud. Keep shining, big love.”
Lack of oppurtunities for Muslim women
In another Instagram post, Aden lamented the lack of arrangement for Muslim women in the fashion industry.
She asked her followers, how it’s like to be a ‘minority within a minority’.
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“What I do blame the industry for is the lack of Muslim women stylists.”
“Fellow Muslim sisters would send me DMs and even publicly tag me at the start of my career to say ‘stop dressing like an old woman’… which made me feel like I was doing something wrong … I remember wanting to be the ‘hot hijabi’ as if that didn’t just defeat the whole purpose. A hot mess is what it was truthfully,” she wrote.
GVS News Desk