Muslim Model Halima Aden Covers the July 'American Beauty' Issue of 'Allure'

This is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to visibility, diversity and what it means to be an American.
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Halima Aden for Allure. Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Allure

Halima Aden for Allure. Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Allure

When hijabi model Halima Aden graced the June cover of Vogue Arabia, it made waves worldwide: Not only was it a truly beautiful image, but it was also refreshing to see the publication feature a Muslim woman who wears the traditional headscarf in her daily life represented in a fashion editorial, particularly on a cover. (She also fronted the Spring 2017 issue of Carine Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book.) Aden's career is only gaining momentum, as the model — who's walked the runways for Yeezy, Max Mara and Alberta Ferretti — appears on the cover of Allure's July issue, which was released on Tuesday.

The cover line? "This is American Beauty." During a time when American Muslims are up against a not-so-supportive administration (to put it mildly) and just this week a teenager was murdered while wearing her hijab and celebrating Ramadan, the image of a model wearing a hijab and being held up as a beacon of what it means to be American is significant. GQ's July cover also features a Muslim American, Mahershala Ali, making this month's covers from Condé Nast major steps in the right direction when it comes to visibility and diversity. 

Halima Aden for Allure. Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Allure

Halima Aden for Allure. Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Allure

The cover and accompanying editorial were shot by Sølve Sundsbø and styled by Beat Bolliger, with makeup by Val Garland and hair by Philippe Tholimet. In the photographs, Aden wears a youthful mix of street and activewear (there are multiple hoodies involved). Since this is a beauty magazine, the makeup is pretty killer. Also worth noting is that Aden isn't wearing just any hijab; it's Nike's much buzzed-about new Pro Hijab.

Halima Aden for Allure. Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Allure

Halima Aden for Allure. Photo: Sølve Sundsbø/Allure

In the accompanying interview by Molly Young, Aden offers her usual wise-beyond-her-years insights — specifically regarding her choice to wear a hijab. "It's how I interpret my religion... but there are women who are Muslim who choose not to wear the hijab. That's something people often forget," she tells the magazine. Aden also goes on to acknowledge how her hijab has, in a way, shielded her from other societal judgments often placed on women: "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."

To read more from Aden's interview and see the full shoot, head to Allure.

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