The world is still fighting one of its oldest viruses: racism. With many countries hosting protests over the unlawful murder of George Floyd by police, celebrities have also joined hands with protesters and those affected by racism.
Over the past week, hijabi supermodel, Halima Aden took to Instagram to share her personal experience with racism – which happened rather publicly. Halima posted an upsetting video in which she is targeted and slandered for her spread in Sports Illustrated and her choice to maintain her modesty.
Aden has over 1 million Instagram followers and what she posted had a lot of reach. The video shows a man criticizing Halima for wearing a hijab and being a Muslim woman. Identifying as a “Republican,” he continually insults her appearance, hijab and modest fashion choices by making comments including, “towels are to be used outside the water,” in reference to her headscarf and “she should be locked up.”
Biting back in her ever respectful, calm and dignified manner, Halima captioned her post by sharing empowering and uplifting words for her followers, “Getting called ‘towel head’ when you’re a kid is one thing but imagine growing up, finding success, and still putting up with this. I apologize if this video is triggering but this is my experience being a Black, Muslim woman in this country. No matter how educated, successful, or unproblematic I am, there will always be someone ready to tear me down,” she wrote. “All this hate because I simply wanted to wear a modest swimsuit… well guess what? My body is NOT for your consumption.”
She continues to send a heartwarming and motivating message for the people she represents within fashion stating, “Don’t let it numb your heart or make you feel less than. You have every right to pursue your passions and lead a happy, healthy life. The hate they give will never diminish your light. When you need a reminder, save this and read it again. YOU are worthy! Your hijab is your crown. Your existence matters just like anyone else’s. You are a queen & you got this!”
HalimaAden was born in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and moved to Minnesota in America with her family when she was six years old. From being a Muslim, Somali refugee, she has maintained her heritage and modesty whilst conquering the fashion world. She became the first hijabi model to sign with international modelling agency, IMG, and has since appeared on magazine covers, stormed the runways at fashion weeks and has become an advocate for Muslim girls across America.