Squashing stereotypes: Muslim woman rocks pageant in hijab, burkini

Halima Aden was the first to participate while fully dressed


If you’d assume “less is more” for the swimsuit portion of the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, it’s safe to say you’re not alone -- the contestants are known to model bikinis that don’t leave much to the imagination.

However, Halima Aden -- a 19-year-old Somali-American woman and a Muslim -- competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant last weekend while fully clothed -- perhaps proving “more can be more,” too.


Aden is the first to compete in the state pageant fully dressed, according to an Associated Press report. She made the semifinals while wearing a hijab, and also donned a full-body outfit called a burkini for the swimsuit competition.

Most of the other 44 contestants wore bikinis, the AP said. Still, Aden drew lots of cheers from the supportive crowd.

Before the competition, Aden said the pageant was "a great platform to show the world who I am," the AP reported.

Aden is a college student who lives in St. Cloud. She wore the traditional Muslim headpiece throughout the entire competition. Her evening dress was modest and covered up, as well.


Aden had never competed in a pageant before, according to published reports.

Buzzfeed News said Aden decided to join this year’s contest to break negative stereotypes of Muslim-Americans, especially Somali-Americans and Muslim women.

Aden was born in Kenya, and emigrated with her parents as a child to Minnesota, according to Buzzfeed.

Aden was competing to represent Minnesota in the 2017 Miss USA pageant.

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