Halima Aden made history by becoming Sports Illustrated's first Swimsuit model to wear a hijab and burkini in SI's annual Swimsuit Issue. Halima made a big splash by posing for a sexy photo shoot wearing layers of material to stay covered up per Muslim tradition.
Halima, 21, wore a beautiful, colorful burkini with matching hijab head cover while relaxing in the surf on Kenya's Watamu Beach.
Halima is the first woman to break with SI tradition by not showing her skin and assets in a string bikini.
"Sports Illustrated is proving that a girl that's wearing a bikini could be right alongside a girl that’s wearing a burkini. And as women we can come alongside each other and be each other's biggest cheerleaders," she told ABC News.
The Somali immigrant was born in Kenya and raised in a refugee camp there until she moved with her family to the United States when she was 7. She was delighted to return to Kenya for her historic SI photo shoot.
"I keep thinking (back) to 6-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp," Aden told Sports Illustrated. "So to grow up to live the American dream (and) to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya - I don't think that's a story that anybody could make up."
Halima trended on Twitter.com where users praised her courage and beauty. But not everyone was excited for her.
One Breitbart.com reader wrote: "Leave it to American liberals to celebrate the oppression of women in other countries. I'm sure those women feel absolutely beautiful wearing a full sheet in the water."
Halima was the first contestant to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in 2016.