A very wise, young and beautiful Muslim woman, Halima Aden, shattered stereotypes when she competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant dressed in her traditional garments this week. Aden wore a hijab for the majority of the event, and a burkini for the swimsuit portion, becoming the first fully-covered Muslim woman to compete in a Miss USA pageant.
Her message of “beauty isn’t one size fits all” is so refreshing and enlightened.
Met so many awesome women this weekend! Had such a blast! Above all I got to stand up for what I believe in. Beauty isn’t a one size fits all. We need to celebrate everyone and welcome those who are different than us. This year has had so much negativity, it’s time to move away from the hate and learn to accept. I’m choosing LOVE because a nation that doesn’t stand together will fall.
We don’t need to tell you that, traditionally, participants in these beauty contests tend to show a little more skin. OK, normally a lot more. But Aden believes that, though that may be one definition of beauty, it isn’t the only one.
“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,” Aden told NBC affiliate Kare. “So, growing up, I just had to work on my people skills and give people a chance to really know me besides the clothing. 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.”
How’s that for sage advice? It’s so poignant to be receiving this lesson (or reminder) from a 19-year-old woman. And just look at her confidence in the swimsuit round.
Halima Aden starts off Miss Minnesota USA’s swimsuit segment to big cheers from the crowd. Announcer: “She’s making history tonight.” pic.twitter.com/OUvbHv6xct
— Liz Sawyer (@ByLizSawyer) November 27, 2016
Aden didn’t win, unfortunately, though she did make the top 15 out of 45. But her message of a diverse definition of beauty has been received, loud and clear–and we don’t think it’s the last time we’ll be hearing it from her either.