MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Somali-American woman is setting out to make a statement by competing for the title of Miss Minnesota USA.
Halima Aden, from the St. Cloud area, told The Huffington Post that she signed up for the pageant in order to inspire Muslim girls with a simple message: You are beautiful, too.
“Not seeing women that look like you in media in general and especially in beauty competitions sends the message that you’re not beautiful or you have to change the way you look to be considered beautiful,” Aden told the website. “And that’s not true.”
Aden would be the first Somali-American woman to compete in the pageant, which runs this year from Nov. 26 to Nov. 27 at the Ames Center in Burnsville.
Aden, 19, was born in a Kenyan refugee camp before moving to Minnesota, the state with the largest Somali community in the U.S., when she was 6.
As for the iconic bikini program of the competition, Aden said she wouldn’t compromise her religious values. She spoke with pageant directors and got the OK to wear a burkini instead.