Excerpt:

As beauty pageant contestants prep for this weekend's Miss Minnesota USA competition, they'll be getting their gowns ready, their interview skills polished and their stage walks perfected.

Halima Aden will be doing the same. Except she'll also be ironing her black hijab, packing her burkini and modifying sleeveless and backless evening wear.

Aden, 19, of St. Cloud, is the first fully-covered Muslim contestant to participate in the Miss Minnesota USA competition, to be held in Burnsville Saturday and Sunday.

The Somali-American teen has been wearing the hijab almost her entire life. She's used to ridicule and bullying, but she said that mostly comes from people not understanding what her religious and cultural beliefs are all about.


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