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A 19-Year-Old Made History By Wearing A Burkini At The Miss Minnesota Pageant

Update Date: Nov 29, 2016 05:41 AM EST

Halima Aden strutted confidently to a cheering crowd wearing a 'burkini,' a bathing suit covering her from neck to wrist to ankle at The Miss Minnesota Pageant. Aden said that she entered the competition to break barriers for Muslim women and counter the prevalent notion that they are oppressed, StarTribune reported.

Aden was the first Muslim to compete in the state pageant. She made it to the semifinal round, but couldn't advance to the final five. Her burkini stood out in sharp contrast with the other 44 women who were clad in revealing bikinis during the pageant's swimwear segment.

Aden said that she hoped to be a role model for girls who felt that wearing a hijab might hold them back. She told CBS that she hopes her participation in the pageant will help combat misconceptions about Islam.

Before the contest, Aden reassured her Somali community members that she would not compromise her religious principles in the pageant. Organizers of the pageant extended their support to her by quickly approving her decision to wear burkini in the swimsuit round.

Aden was the first contestant to take the stage in her burkini in the swimsuit segment. As she sauntered in, the presenter announced that she was making history tonight. A fan club of both friends and family members cheered for her in the contest. Khaled, her cousin remarked that Aden is helping connect other generations.

Her mother, Rukia Aden said that she supports her daughter. The idea of a Muslim woman taking part in the pageant wearing a burkini was something new to her. She added that she is happy to live in a place like the US where people are free and can wear what they want.

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