Halima Aden Becomes First Somali-American to Compete in Miss Minnesota Beauty Pageant

Miss Minnesota USA contestant Halima Aden, 19, opened the swimsuit portion of the pageant with cheers and applause as she walked out in a burkini.

As the first Somali-American to participate in the contest, Aden made it very clear that nothing would stop her from competing.

"This pageant is so much more than just beauty," Aden told Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). "Their whole message is about being confidently beautiful, so I didn't think that I should allow my hijab to get into the way of me participating."

Though Aden did not leave with a crown, she made history, twice. Not only was she the first Somali-American to compete in the pageant, she was also the first participant to compete in a burkini and hijab.

"We just needed one more thing to unify us. This is a small act, but I feel like having the title of Miss Minnesota USA when you are a Somali-American, when you are a Muslim woman, I think that would open up people's eyes."

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Photo Credit: Alishba Kazmi via AP

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