Halima Aden: ‘If I Continued Down This Path, I Would’ve Definitely Lost My Hijab Completely’

American-Somali, Fashion Model Halima Aden, recently publicly narrated her difficult relationship and journey within the fashion industry and how it affected her ability to confidently wear her hijab. 

This series of stories were one of the rawest and honest reflections of how mere representation does not change the structure of institutions that were not ‘made’ for Muslims. 

In a heartfelt series of Instagram stories Halima Aden, tracks her journey through her modeling career explaining the background story behind how she felt at photoshoots and how certain collections were not designed with a hijabi in mind. 

Halima Aden states ‘my hijab was never the problem’. The problem was that I ‘was trying to fit into a society that was not made for me’. 

Aden reflects with sorrow over some of the decisions she made and the shoots that she decided to take part in, stating that she got ‘too carried away’ and that ‘I was so desperate for any representation that I lost touch with who I was’. 


She described that she even cried after a shoot as she knew deep down that ‘this wasn’t it’. Aden also mentions that there were several occasions where she felt as if she was failing Muslim women.


Aden’s mother played a huge role in her deciding to publicly make these statements and initially asked her to quit her modeling career advising her to place ‘Deen over Dunya’. 


A large number of sisters were able to sympathize with Aden’s story and shared their own personal struggles with wearing the hijab. 

Aden advised that ‘If it doesn’t feel right sis, walk away’.

Aden’s story has opened up a whole discussion about what representation we as Muslims should be asking for and where we should want to see ourselves. If the representation costs us our religion, morals, or values, it is really representative, and is it worth it? 

We are so proud of Halima Aden. We are proud of her honesty and her integrity and pray only for the best for her in the future. 

Click here to watch the full story! 

Written by Hafsah Dabiri

Hafsah Dabiri

Editor in Chief at Mvslim. Diversity and Inclusion advocate. Currently taking the road less travelled. Praying I don’t get lost :sweat_smile: