Muslim teen becomes first Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant contestant to wear hijab and burkini
A teenager has shaken up the beauty industry as she made history to become the first fully-covered Muslim contestant in the Miss Minnesota USA competition.
Halima Aden proudly competed in the beauty pageant wearing a hijab and a burkini for the swimsuit round.
The 19-year-old, who made it through to the semifinals, said she wanted to use the contest as an opportunity to change misconceptions about Islam.
The teenager, from St. Cloud, told WCCO-TV: “For a really long time I thought being different was a negative thing.
“But as I grew older, I started to realize we are all born to stand out, nobody is born to blend in.
“How boring would this world be if everyone was the same?”
Halima’s family arrived in the US as refugees from Somali when she was seven years old.
Her proud mum, Rukia Aden, said she fully supported her daughter.
She told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “This was something new to me.
“I’m very happy to live in the United States where people are free and can wear what they want.”
Contestant Meridith Gould of Minneapolis was eventually crowned Miss Minnesota.
She will go on to compete in the Miss USA pageant in 2017.
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