From missing prayer time to pressure on agreeing to model without her hijab on, American model Halima Aden has decided to quit runway modelling, as it is pushing her to compromise on her religious values .
On her Instagram account, Halima recently stated that the pandemic had given her time to step back and address her values as a Muslim woman. Thanks to covid, the downtime has led her home to be around the wisdom of deep souls like her mother, who helped her to reflect on what’s really important in the journey of life – her faith based values. She says that she has exceeded the boundaries that she needs in life to live in a more fulfilling and happier way as a part of what she was called on to do in her job. Some of the requirements of her job have been to miss prayer times which are important in order for her to reflect and connect with the highest Wisdom in the Islamic faith and pressures to model without a hijab, while using another item of clothing to cover her head, all of which has called her to reflect on whether this really is the right way to proceed in life.
Being one of the first to wear a hijab on the runway, Halima became well known for bringing modest fashion to the world’s most famous fashion week shows. Halima stated that she “got comfortable” and “carried away” by the whole experience.
“I can only blame myself for caring more about the opportunity then what was actually at stake, looking back now I did what I said I would never do”. Halima stated. “I blame myself for being naïve and rebellious. I had to make those mistakes to be a role model you can all trust. Mistakes are part of the learning experience.”
There were times when Halima “sobbed” in her hotel room after shooting campaigns due to being scared and not having the confidence to speak up about what she feels is right and where she would misstep with the unnecessary..
“The truth is I was very uncomfortable,” she wrote on Instagram, “This just ain’t me”, speaking honestly about the importance of the real meaning of hijab, which does not include boisterous vanity and the indignation of using fashion as an attention seeking tool that she does not agree with.
Halima believes that the majority of problems came from the “lack of Muslim women stylists” within the industry who could understand why obeying your faith and wearing a hijab was an important element to styling within the faith based parameters of hijab. Otherwise it’s a meaningless exercise.
Since her announcement, Halima has received support from numerous celebrities including Rihanna, Bella Hadid and Gigi Hadid.
“If my hijab can’t be visible, I’m not showing up, period” she said. She also added, “We have gotta have these conversations in order to truly change the system, This is the standard moving forward if you want to work with me. Come correct or don’t come at all”.
It appears that Halima Aden will continue to impact the world of fashion by staying true to her religious values, which she credits for the happy life and personal success she feels blessed with, something she hopes will inspire others to hold on tight to, while using her voice and self-expression to challenge the status quo.