Halima Aden is the first hijab-wearing Miss Minnesota USA contestant

Guess what she wore instead of a bikini during the swimsuit round

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 29 Nov 2016

Halima Aden
Photo: Leila Navidi/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Halima Aden is a Somali-American teen who made history last Saturday when she wore a hijab while competing at the Miss Minnesota USA beauty pageant. And instead of wearing the typical bikini during the swimsuit round, Halima walked onstage in a stylish navy blue embroidered burkini.

"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, so growing up I just had to work on my people skills and give people a chance to really know me besides the clothing," Halima told Kare 11. The 19-year-old Kenya-born contestant was one out of 45 women who competed at the beauty pageant.

"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," she said. She also told ABC 7 that she felt like she was there to "bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women."

Halima did not win the pageant, but she did make it to the top 15 and that was good enough for her.

"That's made me so proud to be a part of this," she said. "Just give it a try. You might not win, but maybe the fifth, sixth girl will win. Don't let anything get in the way."

Related: J.K. Rowling, burkini designer and more react to outrageous burkini ban
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