This Is Why Supermodel Halima Aden Is Leaving The World Of Fashion
The supermodel took to Instagram to share why she's taking a near-permanent break from runway shows
There’s no denying the massive cultural impact supermodels have had. Think Naomi Campbell, Grace Jones, Iman, and more recently, Winnie Harlow. All of them have broken barriers, defied traditional norms of beauty, and revolutionised the fashion industry in their own way. And when 19-year-old Halima Aden burst onto the fashion scene in 2017 (walking the runway at New York Fashion Week, no less) she too, added to this revolution. The first Muslim, hijab-wearing supermodel, Aden embodied representation at its finest and quickly became an inspiration to many.
Halima Aden, at her first-ever runway show for Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 5
However, three years on in the industry, the 23-year-old Somali-American model is reconsidering her fashion career. Mentioning that the industry has forced her to compromise her religious beliefs, specifically the way her hijab was incorporated into shoots, runway shows and campaigns, she took to Instagram stories to write a lengthy explanation to her followers. “As I’ve said many times before, being a minority inside of a minority inside of a minority is never easy,” she said, adding that somewhere along the way, she compromised the real Halima Aden in order to fit in.
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“I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake. I blame myself for being naïve and rebellious, but also the lack of Muslim women stylists in the industry,” she mentioned, calling out the lack of representation that still remains, in spite of how progressive the industry may seem at face value. “I had to make these mistakes to be the role model you trust. We need to have these conversations in order to truly change the system,” added Aden.
A still from the model’s story
Ending her posts, Aden noted that she’s “not rushing back to fashion” and will only work if her needs are properly met. Her honesty and bravery show exactly why she’s the role model – and hopefully, still supermodel – we need. You can read the rest of her story, on her Instagram story highlights here.