Halima Aden steps back from modelling - Plus events that highlight her career

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Halima Aden attends The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on 4 December 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Halima Aden attends The Fashion Awards 2017 in partnership with Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on 4 December 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Samir Hussein

Halima Aden recently announced she will be stepping back from fashion modelling jobs because she felt pressure to compromise her hijab.

In a series on Instagram stories the supermodel shares that she will no longer accept jobs that require her to change her scarf style and will no longer compromise her values. 

“I was just so happy to participate at the time but what I should’ve said was ‘go back to the drawing board. Where is my scarf? The one that covers my chest’,” writes the 23-year-old. 

READ MORE: Vogue Arabia's June cover star went from refugee to top model 

She recounted instances where she felt she made mistakes and where she succeeded when making decisions about her values at modelling jobs. 

One of the positive instances she recalls was a Fenty Beauty campaign for which she praises Rihanna who let her wear the hijab she brought to set. “I wish I never stopped bringing my black hijab to set. Because the minute I got comfortable… well let’s just say I got too carried away,” she says.

She also recounted other instances where she felt she went wrong. Since starting her modelling career, Halima has achieved many firsts but says she hopes those who follow her can learn from her mistakes, saying, “I had to make those mistakes to be the role model you can all trust”.

Throughout her modelling career, Halima has been celebrated for a list of career firsts.

She is lauded as the first-ever contestant to wear a hijab at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in 2016. She made headlines for participating in the pageant not only wearing a hijab but a burkini as well. Her career sky-rocketed after she became a semi-finalist.

READ MORE: Halima Aden becomes Sports Illustrated's first-ever Hijab model to grace their highly anticipated annual swimsuit issue

In June, Halima announced the launch of face masks for hijab-wearing frontline workers she created in partnership with AI tech company Anywear.

The Somali model is also the first black hijab and first hijab to grace magazine covers such as Essence and Vogue respectively.

In 2019, Halima was also the first hijab model to appear on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, wearing a hijab and burkini in the magazine.

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