Over the weekend, 19-year-old Halima Aden made history as the first contestant in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant to wear a hijab during the competition.
Needless to say, she was a complete knockout.
The Somali-American teenager moved to America when she was 6 years old after being born in a Kenyan refugee camp. Despite being unsuccessful in taking home a win, she told radio station KARE-11 that she hoped her participation would be a reminder of the ways in which beauty is diverse.
"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 told KARE-11in an interview. "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."
Aden also said that she had hopes that her participation in the pageant would help change America's perception of Muslim women and counter the increasing Islamophobia in our country.
"The people that are doing bad things, they don’t represent an entire group,” Aden told ABC in an another interview. "I feel like I’m here to bust those misconceptions and stereotypes of Muslim women."