Muslim woman wears hijab and burkini in Minnesota pageant
A Muslim woman has become the first to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant while fully clothed.
Halima Aden made the semifinals of the competition over the weekend while wearing a hijab. She also wore a full-body outfit called a burkini during the swimsuit competition.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports Aden's swim outfit stood in contrast to those of the other 44 contestants, most of whom wore bikinis.
Before the competition, the 19-year-old Somali-American woman told Minnesota Public Radio News that the pageant was "a great platform to show the world who I am."
"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," she said in an interview with KARE-11.
Halima Aden, who made semifinals tonight, does post-pageant interviews while in her evening gown. pic.twitter.com/cuNHvjxVQa— Liz Sawyer (@ByLizSawyer) November 28, 2016
"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."
"The people that are doing bad things, they don't represent an entire group," Aden said in an interview with ABC. "I feel like I'm here to bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women."