Model Halima Aden Is Allure's First Hijab-Wearing Cover Star

The 19-year-old talks about how it protects her from body-shamers

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Halima Aden is not your average runway model. She may only be 19-years-old but she's broken down more stuffy fashion barriers in her short career than many have done in a life time.

The Kenyan-born Somali American teen was the first hijab (and burkini) wearing woman to participate in Minnesota's Ms USA pageant, and made her modeling debut at Kanye West's Yeezy Season 5 presentation back in February (and again in Max Mara's and Alberta Ferretti's recent shows).

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As one of very few Muslim models hitting the mainstream, she is single-handedly questioning traditional (read: outdated) standards of beauty and empowering young women to live their own truth. Simple put: she's changing the way the world sees beauty.

So far, so impressive. But Aden is now making history as Allure's July cover star — the magazine's 'American issue.' This is the model's first major beauty magazine cover — and is the first hijab-wearing model the magazine have featured on the cover, too — but it marks a major moment in the depictions of women of Muslim backgrounds in mainstream U.S media.

Aden wears a Nike hijab — a traditional Muslim head covering — and in the interview discusses her views on the garment.

'It's how I interpret my religion,' she said. 'Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way. I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against 'You're too skinny,' 'You're too thick,' 'Look at her hips,' 'Look at her thigh gap.' I don't have to worry about that.'

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Aden has been vocal about her religion in the past, saying: 'For a very long time, I thought, 'What if every American had a Muslim friend?' They would understand us better. It all stems from not knowing. I wanted to be that friend, that Muslim person people could look at.'

If you needed any further proof that this girl is going to be huge, Aden already has the seal of approval from one particularly successful supermodel:

And if that wasn't enough, Aden is also featured in July's Vogue magazine and just landed last month's cover of Vogue Arabia.

Sure, it'll be great when a hijab-wearing model on the cover of fashion magazine isn't worldwide news for that fact alone, but it's a very good start.

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