“I have not had any pressure to be anything but myself,” she told Cosmopolitan in a new interview. “They’ve been very accepting of my faith. I have strict wardrobe requirements and that’s something they’ve upheld.”
The model, who made history last year as the first woman to compete in a burkini at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant, said that she’s proud to represent Muslim women — especially given the political climate. But she doesn’t let her faith define her.
“When people put labels on us it doesn’t always enclose everything that we are,” she said. “So even though I’m proud to be Somali, I’m proud to be American, at the end of the day, I’m still Halima and I take things from both sides and combine them and I make my own little category. I’m me!”
Read the full interview at Cosmopolitan.