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Halima Aden explains why she quit the fashion industry

Alison Bree

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Halima Aden had “zero excitement” seeing her face on magazine covers.

The 23-year-old model quit the fashion industry recently because she found it so hard to “see herself” on the front of magazines as she felt “so far removed” from the final image.

She said: “I had zero excitement because I couldn’t see myself. Do you know how mentally damaging that can be to be to somebody? When I’m supposed to feel happy and grateful and I’m supposed to relate, because that’s me, that’s my own picture, but I was so far removed. My career was seemingly on top, but I was mentally not happy.”

And Halima – who was born in Kakuma, Kenya – spoke of the importance for her to have control over her own hijab for any modelling work, so much so she would have walked away from a contract if they hadn’t have let her put this as a clause in the paperwork before signing.

Speaking about the first contract she signed, she added: “There are girls who wanted to die for a modelling contract but I was ready to walk away if it wasn’t accepted. I eventually drifted away and got into the confusing grey area of letting the team on-set style my hijab.”

Halima admits she has “anxiety” thinking about the next few months after spending so much time at home during the coronavirus pandemic as she was always away during her career.

Speaking to BBC News, she said: “I was having anxiety thinking of 2021 because I loved staying at home with my family and seeing friends again. I’m grateful for this new chance that Covid gave me. We’re all reflecting about our career paths and asking, ‘Does it bring me genuine happiness, does it bring me joy?'”

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