A trailblazing fashion model say she's giving up runway shows after they made her lose sight of her religious beliefs, the Guardian reports. Halima Aden, one of the first hijab-wearing models to walk for big fashion labels, says the industry forced her to compromise too much—from wearing jeans on her head as a covering to missing her prayer times. "I can only blame myself for caring more about opportunity than what was actually at stake," she writes on Instagram. "(Rihanna) let me wear the hijab I brought to set. This is the girl I’m returning to, the real Halima." She does cast some blame at the fashion business for its "lack of Muslim women stylists."
And she says "fellow Muslim sisters" would send her messages on social media "to say 'stop dressing like an old woman' ... which made me feel like I was doing something wrong ... I remember wanting to be the 'hot hijabi' as if that didn't just defeat the whole purpose. A hot mess is what it was truthfully." But the pandemic gave her time to think and post about her feelings online, PopSugar reports: "Thanks to COVID and the break away from the industry, I have finally realized where I went wrong in my personal hijab journey," writes Aden. "I wish I never stopped bringing my black hijab to set. Because the minute I got comfortable, let's just say I got too carried away." (Aden is one of several pioneering models in recent years.)