Despite the fact that Donald Trump won more electoral votes in the 2016 Presidential Election and very well may be inaugurated as President of the United States of America, assuming an investigation of voter fraud in Wisconsin falls through and if an insufficient number of electors within the Electoral College decide to reject him, his influence and power will only go so far.
Though Trump was a co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization from 1995 to 2015, he was forced to sell his share thereof to the News Corporation as a result of inflammatory remarks he made about undocumented immigrants from Mexico whilst launching his Presidential campaign, which prompted Panama and Mexico to boycott the Miss Universe pageant and NBC to refuse to air it.
Considering those facts, and the rash of anti-immigrant attacks in the U.S. following Trump’s electoral victory on November 8, 2016 with Muslims being prominently targeted, the news that 19-year-old Halima Aden, a Somali-American Muslim born in a refugee camp in Kenya and currently residing in St. Cloud, Minnesota, placed as a semi-finalist among the contestants in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant, comes as rather vindicating.
During the pageant, Ms. Aden was clad in the traditional Islamic women’s dress, but during the swimsuit portion, she wore an innovative outfit known as a burkini, which covers the whole body except the face, the hands, and the feet.
In an interview with Ellery McCardle from KARE, an NBC affiliate based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, Ms. Aden stated:
“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.”
Ms. Aden also expressed gratitude for her success in the pageant, despite being overwhelmed and shocked both that she was named as a finalist and as a result of the worldwide outpouring of support for her.
“This is a big win for us you know I’m the first to do this and I’m hoping to see more Muslim women wearing burkinis and being celebrated. I’m just challenging you to be outgoing and just do your best in everything that you do.”
Though Ms. Aden’s chosen attire for the pageant set her apart from the other contestants, pageant officials fully supported her decision to remain covered out of respect for her religious beliefs.
For more, check out this local news report below;
Featured image courtesy of Instagram.