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Model Halima Aden Quits Runway Over Religious Beliefs

Halima Aden attends the gala dinner during #BoFVOICES | Source: John Phillips/Getty Images

The model was one of the first women to wear a hijab and get signed to a major modelling agency, but said working with the fashion industry had forced her to compromise her religious beliefs. Going forward, Aden said she will only carry out modelling work that would allow her to keep her hijab visible in a way that is appropriate to her.

The model, who has graced the covers of international editions of Elle, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, spoke out in a series of Instagram stories, detailing the “highs and lows” of her experience in the industry. These included stylists who did not work with hijabs or modest fashion in mind, missing prayer times for work and having a pair of jeans draped over her head for an American Eagle ad campaign. “I was just so desperate back then for any ‘representation’ that I lost touch with who I was,” she said in one Story.

Industry voices including Rihanna (who Aden praised for allowing her to choose her own hijab for a Fenty campaign), and Gigi and Bella Hadid have come out in support of Aden’s announcement.

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