Fashion + Diversity

An Inclusive Industry & Halima Aden

What do you believe to be the true means of fashion? Is it the inadequate diversity society has portrayed for generations, or like me, believe it to be the representation of all beings to demonstrate an inclusive industry. With this in mind, do I believe the fashion industry truly embodies all beings? No. Undoubtedly we still have a long pursuit. But the consistent, fierce robustness illustrated by so many, will be the drive that serves the true definition of fashion.

Which is absolutely what Halima Aden is forcefully accomplishing to create an inclusive industry. 

Who is Halima Aden?

Halima Aden. Female. Muslim. Refugee. History maker. Executor of stereotypes. 

So what did Halima Aden do? Besides dominating the fashion industry as well as defying all of society’s unrealistic, false ideologies of fashion. Therefore changing the dynamics of fashion, what has she not done?

How did her career begin? Firstly, it was initiated with her part in the Miss Minnesota USA modelling pageant. But what was so great about that you wonder – her hijab. A symbol of modesty and privacy, that took the world by storm. From there on out, she has graced the international runways with her hijab. Not only was she the first hijab-wearing model to cover a leading US magazine, Allure in 2017, she then elevated to the cover of British Vogue in 2018, being the first woman of colour to wear a hijab. 

Additionally, (to name a few) she was the first hijab-wearing model to be signed with IMG; too, she opened the Yeezy Season 5 New York fashion show. Yet her accomplishment that highly evokes empowerment for me, is her part in Sports Illustrated. A brand that is notoriously known for its swim-suit covers of predominantly white, thin models; in this case, with a burkini and hijab, Halima governed the multi-page magazine with immense beauty, power and fashion. 

“I never got to experience flipping through a magazine and seeing someone who looks like me”

Halima Aden

Mindset for an inclusive industry

So how has Halima Aden been so successful? Fundamentally, her mindset. 

As she puts it: 

“I am not afraid to be the first. To step out on my own. To take risks. And to seek change. Because that is what being a minority is about. It’s about using yourself as a vessel to create change. And being a human representation for the power of diversity”

Halima Aden

That is exactly what she has done. And of course will remain doing.  

Due to Halima Aden’s abilities to know her worth as well as acknowledging the colossal flaws in the fashion industry, she was able to highlight those under represented like her. She further gave minorities the courage to assert their importance whilst paving the way to a long overdue, inclusive industry. From this, it is evident that the key for change is mindset, which in effect signifies the vitality for beings to control their own minds. After all, we have been influenced by the mindless doctrine of society for too long.

In a world full of Karens, be a Halima

All things considered, Halima Aden’s career showcases diversity vehemently. Along with enhancing its necessity, she is an illustration; an empowerment for different backgrounds, looks and upbringings. Not only does she prove unity equals change, but also encourages others to pursue what they desire, despite societal norms. Importantly, Halima Aden, along with many others, will be the inspiration and motivation to conquering the true means of fashion. Diversity. 

Therefore, I ask that you be a positive impact towards the right change. Equally like Halima Aden. To be an advocate to those who don’t look like you. Do this in order to stop minorities diminishing themselves, because society does not represent them as beautiful. Without a doubt, we have the power; we have the power to cement diversity into the fashion industry. Unquestionably that is what we will do.

 Simply putting it – be inclusive to all. Since you always reap what you sow.

“You don’t have to change who you are. You don’t have to conform. There are enough people who are willing to accept you. To work with you. Just the way that you are”

Halima Aden

With this platform

In essence, this platform centralises on fashion, however I need to bring your attention to specific inhumane actions. Importantly I need you to be aware – to research and acknowledge the senseless acts, our Muslim beings are enduring. They need our help.

Shukri Abdi. 12 year old black, Muslim, refugee; Greater Manchester, June 2019. Senselessly killed by her classmates.

China’s modern day concentration camps. Millions of Muslims; 2018 – present. Deaths, forced labour, torture. Described as modern day holocaust.

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. As a result of the civil war since 2015 – present, 24 million people are starving. Additional 19.7 million have no healthcare access. Senselessly, over 100,000 people have been killed; the majority children and women.

Belgium. Constitutional ban on hijabs. At universities and higher education institutions. At this present time.

It should be explicitly noted, that at this moment in time these four devastations are a minuscule sector to the masses of additional heartbreaks taking place. It’s difficult to comprehend that in 2020 this is prevalent.

It needs to stop. We must be the voice. We are required to be the change. They are humans.

Please help.

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