The Somali-American model previously made history at 19 years old by competing in the Miss Minnesota U.S.A. pageant as the first person to ever wear a hijab and burkini during the show. She made it to the semi-finals of the competition.
Born in Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Aden moved to the United States at age 7. However, Sports Illustrated brought her back to her home country for her rookie spread on Watamu Beach with photographer Yu Tsai.
The magazine reports that she previously landed the cover of British Vogue, Allure and walked on the New York Fashion Week runway.
“We believe beauty knows no boundaries,” said SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day. “I admire Halima, and I consider her an inspirational human for what she has decided to use her platform for and her work with Unicef as an ambassador. She is, in my opinion, one of the great beauties of our time, not only outside but inside. When we met, I was instantaneously taken by her intelligence, enthusiasm and authenticity.”
Day continued: “We both believe the ideal of beauty is so vast and subjective. We both know that women are so often perceived to be one way or one thing based on how they look or what they wear. Whether you feel your most beautiful and confident in a burkini or a bikini, YOU ARE WORTHY.”