Halima Aden, the woman who was hailed for being the first-ever Muslim Hijabi model, has decided to give up her modelling career to embrace her faith, Islam. The 23-year-old Muslim model made the decision to quit the fashion industry as many of the religious beliefs held in the fashion industry went against her religious belief systems.
According to the popular Instagram account, Diet Prada, the model decided to step back from the fashion industry as it forced her to compromise with her beliefs.
The Somali American model, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, came to light in 2016 after competing in her hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. Since then, she has been featured on the covers of American Vogue, Vogue Arabia, Elle and Allure. Aden was also the first model to wear a hijab for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.
Fashion ramp brings bad energy, forced to wear denim as ‘Hijab’: Halima Aden
In a series of now-deleted Instagram story posts, the 23-year-old Hijab-wearing model spoke about how the fashion ramp was a place where all the bad energy came from. Aden also recounted the numerous times she had to miss Namaaz or any of her religious activities due to a project.
She told her 1.2 million followers that the Coronavirus pandemic gave her the opportunity to reflect on her values and helped her realise that had she continued down her current path, she may have stopped wearing and embodying the values attached to her hijab “completely”.
In one of her Instagram stories, Aden had reportedly pulled back her old photos and claimed that she was very uncomfortable in the fashion industry. Halima also recounted how she was ‘forced’ to wear denim on her head or wrapped the hijab around her head in a way through which she felt that she was betraying her religion and its beliefs. She said that after the denim photoshoot with American Eagle Outfitters, she ‘sobbed in her room’. Claiming that she never wore jeans in her life, Aden had claimed it defeated the purpose and ‘cheapened her faith’.
She said: “But… this isn’t even my style?? Never was. Why did I allow them to put jeans on my head when at the time I had only ever worn skirts and long dresses? “I went back to my hotel room & just sobbed after this shoot because deep down I knew this wasn’t it. But was too scared to speak up. “The truth is I was very UNCOMFORTABLE. This just ain’t me.”
She further wrote, “I was just so desperate back then for any ‘representation’, that I lost touch with who I was.”.
Not enough Muslims in fashion industry, lamented Hijabi model
The 23-year-old model said that it was her mistake for picking up those projects and also blamed the fashion industry for not having enough Muslim stylists who understand the uniquely personal importance that a Hijab holds for everybody who wears it.
“Remember, I had no one before me paving the way so mistakes are part of the learning experience. I did good, but that isn’t enough. We gotta have these conversations in order to change the system truly,” the Muslim model said.
Continuing, Halima Aden said she would not even consider a project even she is offered as much as 10 million dollars if that makes her compromise on her religious beliefs. Aden said that she now finally understands what she did wrong in her journey as a hijabi.
This is not the first time that a Muslim celebrity has quit show biz industry to embrace Islam. In India, the trend has already begun with already two Bollywood actresses quitting the movie industry to serve ‘Islam’ and abide by the ‘modest’ rules of Allah.
Last year, ‘Dangal’ and ‘Secret Superstar’ actress Zaira Wasim had announced her retirement from movies in a letter posted on Instagram. In the six-page letter, she said, “Bollywood took me away from Islam” and cites the interference on her religious practices as the reason for this decision.
Recently, Actress Sana Khan too decided to quit the entertainment industry after being enlightened by the ‘teachings of Islam’.