Sports Illustrated has released its annual swimsuit issue and declared itself “proud” to present the first Muslim model to wear a hijab and “burkini” within its pages.
The Somali-American model [Halima Aden] was born in Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, where she lived until the age of seven before moving to the United States.
For her SI Swimsuit rookie spread, we couldn’t think of a more perfect place travel than her birth country, where she shot at Watamu Beach with photographer Yu Tsai.
“I keep thinking [back] to six-year-old me who, in this same country, was in a refugee camp,” Halima said during her shoot.
“So to grow up to live the American dream [and] to come back to Kenya and shoot for SI in the most beautiful parts of Kenya–I don’t think that’s a story that anybody could make up.”
Aden is right about one thing - there was a time not too long ago when no one could imagine such a story.
This is a nation that birthed the modern feminist movement, burned bras, sexually “liberated” the American woman and mainstreamed birth control in pursuit of that very idea and successfully shamed and marginalized Judeo-Christian culture for their standards of sexual/relational modesty.
In a mere twenty years we have gone from disparaging religious restrictions on female sexuality to celebrating it from a culture that it is openly hostile to the progressive values the producers of this magazine claim to be celebrating.
Were Aden to be wearing a nun’s habit and cross on the beach and celebrating it as “progressively feminist” there would be no end to the outrage and insult. She would be called a prude and accused of sending the wrong message to women about how they should be allowed to celebrate their bodies.GO READ THE WHOLE THING.