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#FollowFriday: Why we’re loving Halima Aden this week

This week we’ve been obsessing over 19 year old model and humanitarian, Halima Aden. She made history as the first woman in a hijab to grace the cover of Allure magazine and she’s totally shaking up the stereotype of ‘American beauty’.

The first-generation Somali-American has been signed by IMG Models (the same agency as Gigi and Bella Hadid), has walked the runway for Kanye West and is inspiring a whole new generation of models with every new move/shoot/selfie she takes.

Here’s everything you NTK about the trailblazer…

Who is Halima?

Halima and her family fled to America during the Somalian Civil War when she was just six years old. It wasn’t until she began school in Minnesota that Halima started to feel she was different.

“When I first started wearing the hijab, I felt happy. It felt right and represented who I was. But when I started middle school, I remember that joy and satisfaction turning to resentment. I no longer was proud of who I was in the hijab because other students would frequently tease me.” she tells Teen Vogue.

In honor of #tbt 😆

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

Desperate not to let the bullies get her down, Halima decided to enter the Miss Minnesota pageant in November 2016. Making it to the top 15, she was the first person in the history of the pageant to wear a hijab and a burkini on stage.

Halima’s life changed overnight forever. IMG models contacted and later signed her to their agency. Since then she has rocketed and is fast becoming the model everyone wants to work with. You go girl!

Say hello to #HalimaAden—the first hijab-wearing model to a) sign to IMG, b) walk in a Yeezy Season fashion show, c) compete in Miss Minnesota USA, and d) cover #allure. Get to know the 19-year-old Somali American model, who’s breaking down every boundary in the fashion industry. “Society puts so much pressure on girls to look a certain way,” she says. “I have much more to offer than my physical appearance, and a hijab protects me against ‘You’re too skinny,’ ‘You’re too thick,’ ‘Look at her hips,’ ‘Look at her thigh gap.’ I don’t have to worry about that.” Tap the link in bio for our full interview. 📸: @solvesundsbostudio 👗: @beatbolliger 💇: @philippetholimet 💄: @thevalgarland 💅: @mariannewman

A post shared by Allure Magazine (@allure) on

Here’s why we love her…

This girl is #goals. She’s making fashion history by demanding her culture and other cultural minorities are represented within the industry.

#yeezy #nyfw2017 ✊🏿✊✊🏻

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

After strutting her stuff in the hottest shows at Fashion Week she went on to do a campaign with American Eagle, stealing our hearts as she rocked the brands first ever hijab and her braces. Yeah, you heard right. No more awkward mouth-closed smiles in your group photos, it’s time we followed Halima’s glowing example and allowed our braces to be beautiful.

@kinglimaa is an inspiration in the new American jean. #ICAN #MeetTheNewCast

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And just when you thought it couldn’t get any cooler she is now one of the new faces of Rihanna’s first beauty line  “Fenty Beauty”, which celebrates women of all colours and comes out Friday 8th September. How awesome?!

If being a kickass fashionista wasn’t enough, our girl has a heart of gold. Halima wants to use her gift to change the way people think about her culture. After her modelling career, this go-get-em girl wants to become a UN Goodwill Ambassador.

Love this so much!!! ❤️ representation matters .. always ✨

A post shared by Halima Aden (@kinglimaa) on

“Having representation in the fashion industry of all backgrounds gives little girls and boys, who don’t see people that look like them represented, hope” she told Teen Vogue.

We can’t wait to see how far she goes, follow her Instagram here.

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