Here’s A Guide On What Not To Say To Your Neighborhood Hijabi Athlete

Yes, hijabi athletes do exist.

Here’s A Guide On What Not To Say To Your Neighborhood Hijabi Athlete

Yes, hijabi athletes do exist.

By

Amirah Ahmed
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh / Photo courtesy of Nike

Hijabi athletes aren’t new. While mainstream media and big sporting leagues are just catching on, hijabis have been kicking butt in sports forever. However, exercising and competing while dressed in full sleeves and scarves comes with some pretty unique experiences. 

We’ve compiled a quick guide for you with do’s, don’ts, and reminders for interacting with your friendly hijabi athlete without sounding ignorant as heck:

 

1. Do not, under any circumstances, ask her if she’s hot. This is the most commonly asked question that hijabi athletes get, and it never gets less annoying. I promise you, 99.8% of the time, the answer is yes. If you feel the urge to ask this question, take a look at your nearest weather forecast. Would that temperature be hot to you? If so, it’s probably the same for your slightly sweaty hijabi friend.

 

 

2. Yes, she can breathe in that. How else could she have kicked your butt in that game or your last race? I think this is the most ridiculous of all the questions hijabi athletes get. It sounds silly, but the amount of times I’ve received this one is incredible. Do people ask you if you can breathe when you wear a scarf in the winter? No! 

 

3. Just because you won’t tell anyone, probably isn’t a good enough reason for her to take it off. No, not even “just for a little bit.” Every time someone makes this suggestion, I am actually astounded by the sheer audacity. This question has the same energy as a friend suggesting you break your fast during Ramadan because they won’t tell anyone. Just a little pointer, this is super rude, never do this.

 

4. Listen, I completely understand how hijabi athletes might seem like superheroes to you if you’ve never exercised in more than shorts and a t-shirt, but your constant exclamations over how amazing it is that we “wear so much clothing” do, in fact, get annoying. It was cute the first time, but you’ve said the same thing every day this season, Sharon. Please stop.

 

5. This one should be pretty straightforward if you have any manners at all, but stop staring. Seriously, stop. If you’re going to insist on gawking, at least introduce yourself or say salaam or something. Otherwise, it’s just creepy.

 

6. We really do appreciate the hype, but turning every single one of our athletic achievements into news stories and articles isn’t helping our case. My personal record is the same as 100 other girls in the region, it’s not some phenomena just because I did it with a hijab on.

 

7. Your little efforts to help a gal out don’t go unnoticed. Becoming a human shield when the sweaty hijab situation needs fixing in public is appreciated. We see you. Thank you. P.S. Always remember to keep your hands to yourself! While your impromptu shield is helpful, we’d prefer that you didn’t try to tuck loose strands of hair into our hijabs yourself!

 

8. Lastly, remember that we’re just fellow athletes. Our choice of attire does not make us an anomaly. We’re all here just trying to be the best at whatever sport we do.

 

Next time a hijabi joins your sports team, or befriends you at the gym, keep these pointers in mind, or else you might just get left on read next time you try to schedule a gym sesh.

Supermodel Halima Aden Makes Second Appearance On Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

In case you missed it, Halima Aden stuns in her second Sports Illustrated swimsuit appearance.

Supermodel Halima Aden Makes Second Appearance On Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

In case you missed it, Halima Aden stuns in her second Sports Illustrated swimsuit appearance.

By

Elizabeth Aziz
Halima Aden photographed by Kate Powers in the Dominican Republic for Sports Illustrated.

Everyone’s favorite supermodel, Halima Aden, made history again when she graced the pages of Sports Illustrated’s illustrious swimsuit issue for a second time last month. Her first feature in the magazine was in April 2019. 

This time, we got over forty-five photos (!) of the 22-year old Somali-American supermodel and UNICEF ambassador wearing modest swimwear by fabulous designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, LYRA Swim, Cynthia Rowley, Krahs, Une Piece, TAVIK, and more. 

 

Aden was shot by photographer Kate Powers in the Dominican Republic this past February, before the pandemic. (Fun fact: Sports Illustrated hosted a photography workshop for local area girls led by Powers during the same trip!)

Recently, Aden has also joined forces with Allure magazine and a company called Anywear that designs headbands and medical caps with buttons for comfortably holding face coverings and medical masks in place. As part of the #BandingTogether initiative, her collection includes a range of options for Muslim women, including matching mask-and-hijab sets and turbans. For each purchase made, Anywear will donate a headband or hijab set to a healthcare worker on the front lines of COVID-19. In an Instagram post, Aden wrote: 

“Having worked in a hospital, even several months into my modeling career, it was important for me to support this project. As many hijab-wearing women are working at health care facilities, I wanted to make sure they have a comfortable option for wearing a mask while keeping their hair covered.”

You can shop Halima’s Anywear collection here to benefit frontline workers and stay safe in style.

If you want to learn more about Halima’s life and trail-blazing career, check out this TED Talk she gave in 2018.