(MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE) It seemed only fitting that Halima Aden was the first contestant to introduce herself to the audience. Many of the cameras were there for her, after all.
The 19-year-old Somali-American sauntered on stage during the Miss Minnesota USA pageant Saturday night in a “burkini,” a bathing suit covering her from neck to wrist to ankle. She was the first fully covered Muslim to compete in the state pageant, where she made it to the semifinal round of 15 Sunday, but didn’t advance to the final five.
“Halima is bilingual. She speaks fluent English and Somali, and history is her favorite subject,” Denise Wallace, pageant executive co-director, announced to huge applause as Aden strutted for the judges. “She’s making history tonight.”