Muslim woman becomes first Miss Maine contestant to wear a hijab

‘I slayed my Hijab’

Olivia Petter
Thursday 21 December 2017 13:01 GMT
Hamdia Ahmed is first Muslim Somali woman to compete in Miss Maine pageant

An aspiring model has become the first Miss Maine pageant contestant to wear a hijab on stage.

Hamdia Ahmed was born in Somalia and raised in a refugee camp in Kenya and hopes to be scouted by a modelling agent.

She now lives in the US and studies political science at the University of Southern Maine.

The young beauty took part in the annual competition wearing two outfits, both of which were paired with a hijab.

In one of the two photos that she uploaded to Twitter, Ahmed can be seen wearing a long-sleeved gold gown paired with a sparkly pink hijab for the eveningwear segment.

In the second, which she presumably wore for the swimsuit portion of the contest, Ahmed donned a pink and black burkini.

According to Ahmed’s Twitter post, which has been liked 7,400 times, the clothes were provided by Modanisa, a reputable fashion e-commerce brand aimed at Muslim women.

Despite not winning first prize - which was awarded to 22-year-old army national guard sergeant Marina Gray - Ahmed was proud to have simply taken part, writing on Twitter: “I competed in Miss Maine as the first Muslim girl with a Hijab. I slayed my hijab”.

Speaking to The Independent, Ahmed explained that she chose to compete "because representation is important".

"I didn't take the crown, but it was an amazing experience.

"I want to inspire other girls to feel beautiful, confident and follow their dreams no matter where they're from."

The pageant took place in the Holiday Inn in Portland on 27 November.

All contestants were between the ages of 18 and 28.

According to the pageant’s website, judges spend time with each of the contestants to get a sense of their talents, goals and ambitions.

This forms a crucial part of their judging criteria, in which they assess their poise, charm, confidence and communication skills.

In the swimsuit section, the judges look for physical fitness, beauty and self-confidence.

In the eveningwear section, they examine each delegate’s sense of style, as they choose the gowns themselves.

The idea is that whoever wins the pageant becomes a spokesperson for community service programmes and local charities while inspiring confidence and poise in young women.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in