Burkini to be featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue
USA Today via Religion News Service | 5/10/2019, 6 a.m.
This year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is going to feature trailblazer Halima Aden.
Ms. Aden will be the first woman to sport a hijab and burkini in the magazine, which hit newsstands on Wednesday, SI revealed this week.
In a photo shared to the official Instagram page for the issue, Ms. Aden, 21, smiles in the water.
For her shoot, Ms. Aden returned to her home country of Kenya. She was born and remained at the Kakuma Refugee Camp until heading for the United States at the age of 7, SI reports.
In the states, Ms. Aden found success and broke barriers. She signed to IMG Models after making headlines for competing in a hijab at her state’s Miss USA pageant in 2016. She became the first woman to wear her traditional Muslim headpiece for the entire competition, also opting to wear a burkini for the swimsuit round.
On “Good Morning America” on Monday, Ms. Aden revealed the shoot was emotional.
“We definitely had a lot of moments where everybody was, like, breaking down crying because it’s a huge moment,” she recalled.
“Sports Illustrated is proving that a girl wearing a bikini can be right alongside a girl wearing a burkini,” she said. “And as women, we can come alongside each other and be each other’s biggest cheerleaders celebrating the diversity of women.”
During the television segment, M.J. Day, SI Swimsuit editor, promised an issue with “a wide range of age and race and levels of modesty that really is a first for us.”
The move provided a special memory for Ms. Aden.
“I’ve never gotten to shoot in the ocean wearing a swimsuit. I felt like I was Beyoncé in that water,” she said during the interview for the ABC morning program. “I was like living my best life. It was incredible.”