In a recent post on model, Halima Aden’s Instagram page, you’ll see a cover image of a White man with a towel around his head, accompanied by a large icon of the American flag. In the video, he criticises Sports Illustrated‘s choice to feature Halima on the cover of its highly-anticipated annual swimsuit issue in 2019, wearing a burkini and a hijab, instead of a more ‘traditional’ swimsuit. “In my entire Republican life, I’ve never seen anyone walk into in the water with a towel,” he says.
In response to this offensive video, Halima writes, “Getting called “towel head” when you’re a kid is one thing but imagine growing up, finding success, and still putting up with this shit. I apologize if this video is triggering but this is MY experience being a BLACK, MUSLIM WOMAN IN THIS COUNTRY.”
“No matter how educated, successful, or unproblematic I am .. there will always be someone ready to tear me down. All this hate because I simply wanted to wear a modest swimsuit… well guess what? My body is NOT for your consumption.”
The Somali-American model goes on to encourage her young followers to maintain their self-identity and keep holding their heads high, no matter what.
“I’m posting this to tell my little sisters who follow me that hate will come your way but you must KEEP GOING. Don’t let it numb your heart or make you feel less than. You have every right to pursue your passions and lead a happy, healthy life. The hate they give will never diminish your light when you need a reminder, save this and read it again. YOU are worthy! Your hijab is your crown. Your existence matters just like anyone else’s. You are a Queen & You got this!”