“Somebody needs to be the first… I’m definitely not going to be the last.”

She’s one of the world’s most in-demand hijabi models, and Halima Aden is also something of an unofficial spokeswoman for Muslim women in the United States.

So when the 20-year-old Somali-American woman sat down with TV host Katie Couric, we were very interested to hear her thoughts on beauty and representation.

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For Aden, a life in the public eye means it’s even more important to remain true to herself.

 

“When I was a housekeeper, I wore my hijab; now that I’m modeling, I’m not going to suddenly take it off to conform,” she told Couric at In Style.

“A lot of girls fall into a trap of trying to look like someone else. Beauty is working with what you have.”

About last night ❤️

A post shared by Halima (@halima) on

Aden, who was just in New York for Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2018 Alta Moda show, says that beauty is personal.

“You can be covered from head to toe and still be beautiful. There’s a beauty in what you say and how you carry yourself.

“That’s the kind of beauty we should strive for,” she says, adding that her own favourite features are her nose and dimples.

Couric’s new show, America Inside Out, looks at the kinds of issues which are dividing her country. Aden was pragmatic when asked about her minority status.

“I approach it from a positive standpoint: Maybe I’m the only Muslim that person is going to encounter—so my personality better be on point,” she told Couric.

“Somebody needs to be the first [hijabi model]; it comes down to that. And it makes me happy to know I’m definitely not going to be the last.”

We love her attitude.

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Images: Halima Aden/Instagram