Gigi Hadid expresses support for hijabi model Halima Aden: 'You continue to make me proud'

Women take to social media to support Aden after she criticised the way the fashion industry dresses Muslim women

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Somali model Halima Aden took to Instagram this week to express her disillusionment with the way her modelling career has panned out, and how the hijab has been sidelined in her previous fashion shoots.

Famous for being one of the first hijab-wearing models to make it big in the fashion world, Aden criticised the way she allowed herself to be dressed for many of her modelling jobs in a series of stories, which have now been saved to her Hijab Story collection.

Gigi Hadid was quick to come out in support of Halima Aden. Courtesy Gigi Hadid.
Gigi Hadid was quick to come out in support of Halima Aden. Courtesy Gigi Hadid.

In response, hundreds of women have declared their support for her stance, including fellow model Gigi Hadid, who urged her followers to look at Aden's comments.

“It is so important, as a hijabi or not, to self reflect and get back on track with what feels genuine,” Hadid, who is of Palestinian and Dutch descent, wrote.

Speaking of the challenges of modelling and being asked to wear clothes outside one's personal comfort zone, the new mother continued: “I learnt through therapy once that if we are assertive with our boundaries, it does not mean that we are ungrateful for opportunity, and it will lead to an end result that does not feel hollow.”

Hadid has worked with Aden a number of times in the past and her message of support was clear: “My sis Halima, you have inspired me since the day I met you and you continue to make me proud. Keep shining.”

It is not just Hadid who has voiced her support for Aden. Moroccan hijabi blogger Ihssane Benalluch has publicly praised Aden for her stance, writing: “What a beautiful language. Proud of you dear.”

American journalist, activist and speaker Noor Tagouri simply commented, “So proud of you”, while fashion model Lameka Fox wrote to Aden to express that she was “so proud of you for sharing your story. It’s important to remind yourself of who you are and why you are here. I think many girls will take away a great lesson from what you have shared.”

Influencer Nabilah Kariem Peck commented: “You said so many things that so many Muslim women in the fashion industry are so afraid to say. I don’t think most people can even understand how brave this was, and how much work and opportunity you immediately lost the second you posted those stories.”