“I slayed my hijab,” Hamdia Ahmed said.
2017 has seen a lot of firsts for Muslim women. From the Nike Pro sports hijab to the first Barbie doll to wear a hijab, it’s been a year of advances in terms of representation.
And as the year comes to a close, we’ve got another. The Miss Maine pageant in the United States has seen its first hijabi contestant, 19-year-old Hamdia Ahmed.
The Somali-born student, who was raised in a Kenyan refugee camp, told the Independent she didn’t just compete in hopes of winning.
“Representation is important,” she told the site. “I didn’t take the crown, but it was an amazing experience.”
“I want to inspire other girls to feel beautiful, confident and follow their dreams no matter where they’re from.”
I competed in Miss Maine as the first Muslim girl with a Hijab. I slayed my hijab.😌👑 pic.twitter.com/06hvfYd2nR
— Hamdia Ahmed (@hamdia_ahmed) December 19, 2017
Ahmed wore a sequinned pale gold gown with a rose pink hijab, and a hot pink and black burkini in the competition. On Twitter, she said both outfits came via Turkish modest fashion site Modanisa.
Like Halima Aden, who rose to prominence after competing in Miss Minnesota in 2016, Ahmed wants to pursue a modelling career.
In the meantime, though, Ahmed is helping to show that there’s no limit on what young Muslim women can achieve. We’d call that a win by any standard.