Halima Aden Is Taking a Step Back from Fashion After Her Religious Beliefs Were Compromised

Amy de Klerk
·2-min read
Photo credit: George Pimentel - Getty Images
Photo credit: George Pimentel - Getty Images

From Harper's BAZAAR

Halima Aden, a trailblazing young model who was one of the first to wear a hijab on the catwalk and quickly became one of the most exciting faces to watch, has announced that she will be stepping back from the fashion industry because she has been forced to compromise her religious beliefs for too long.

Aden took to her Instagram Stories to share a number of occasions, whether for photo shoots or fashion shows, where she could not be herself. These included missing prayer times, as well as what she wore in place of a traditional hijab.

Photo credit: Daniele Venturelli/amfAR - Getty Images
Photo credit: Daniele Venturelli/amfAR - Getty Images

Throughout the series of images, which Aden has saved as an Instagram Highlight (which can viewed here), the model went on to explain how time at home with her family during lockdown had given her clarity of thought, leading to the conclusion that she needs to take a step back from her work in the fashion industry.

"I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake," she wrote, adding that she changed who she was in order to keep people happy and be given opportunities. Aden explained the struggle with being a "minority within a minority" in the modeling world, adding, "What I do blame the industry for is the lack of Muslim women stylists."

Within the images shared, Aden praised some situations and designers, including Rihanna (who let the model wear her own hijab) and criticized others, including those who convinced her to wear pairs of jeans on her head in place of her traditional hijab.

Photo credit: Rich Fury - Getty Images
Photo credit: Rich Fury - Getty Images

Aden's decision to speak out has been praised by a number of her fellow models, including Leomie Anderson, and Gigi and Bella Hadid, who urged their followers to check out Aden's Instagram in order to educate themselves.

"I had to make those mistakes to be the role model you can trust," Aden wrote to her followers. "Remember, I had no one before me paving the way so mistakes are part of the learning experience. I did good, but that isn't enough. We gotta have these conversations in order to change the system truly."

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