April 30, 2019 / 5:20 PM / 6 months ago

Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue to feature model in burkini

FILE PHOTO: Model Halima Aden attends the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at the Kings Theater in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

(Reuters) - Somali-American Halima Aden will appear in Sports Illustrated’s popular swimsuit issue as the first model in the magazine to wear a hijab and burkini, the magazine said on its website.

The annual swimsuit issue, which will debut on May 8, is known for showcasing women in revealing bikinis. A burkini is a full-body swimsuit worn by some Muslim women.

Aden, who is Muslim, was born in Kenya at a refugee camp and moved to the United States at age 7. Her burkini photos were shot in Kenya at Watamu Beach, Sports Illustrated said in a statement on Monday.

In 2016, Aden made headlines when she was the first woman to wear a hijab in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. She has also appeared on the cover of British Vogue and on runways at New York Fashion Week.

“Ladies, anything is possible,” Aden wrote on Instagram. “Being in Sports Illustrated is so much bigger than me. It’s sending a message to my community and the world that women of all different backgrounds, looks, upbringings ... can stand together and be celebrated.”

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day said she and Aden “both believe the ideal of beauty is so vast and subjective.”

“We both know that women are so often perceived to be one way or one thing based on how they look or what they wear. Whether you feel your most beautiful and confident in a burkini or a bikini, YOU ARE WORTHY,” Day said in a statement on the magazine’s website.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Tom Brown

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