Halima Aden, a 19-year-old from St. Cloud, Minnesota, is making waves by becoming the first person to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.


Aden is Somali-American, and says she feels more herself when in modest clothing. She is wearing the traditional Muslim headpiece, and will be pairing it with a full-body covering bathing suit and covered evening dress for the various contest rounds.

“A lot of people will look at you and will fail to see your beauty because you’re covered up and they’re not used to it,” explains Aden. “So growing up, I just had to work on my people skills and give people a chance to really know me besides the clothing,” she said. “Be who you are. It’s easy to feel like you have to blend in, but it takes courage to live your life with conviction and embrace the person that you are.”

Aden is one of 45 contestants in the pageant, and has already made it to the top 15.


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