Representation is extremely important. Little girls around the world need to be able to see themselves in the media they consume, and many of them watch Miss Universe.
So when Miss Universe Great Britain graced the swimsuit section in her beautiful caftan, it was not only history in the making, it was a nod to every Muslim girl watching the pageant.
In the strut, which lasted under a minute, Miss Universe Great Britain Muna Jama let little girls around the world know that staying true to who you are is what makes you beautiful.
In May, when Jama was asked to wear a bikini during the swimsuit section of the pageant, she explained, "I wouldn't wear a bikini to the beach, so I'm not going to wear one in a competition to score points," according to POPSUGAR.
She wasn't only standing up for herself and her religious beliefs — she set a precedent for pageants everywhere. The pageant has never before represented Muslim women who wish to remain covered, which is extremely problematic.
The lack of inclusivity in the pageant world, the fashion world, and the media at large is grossly unacceptable. It has a huge impact on what little girls are taught to believe is beautiful. The fact that the pageant disproportionately represents white women and Western beauty ideals is deeply infuriating and dangerous.
Back in November, Miss Minnesota USA Halima Aden wore her hijab and burkini throughout the competition
It was one of the most important moments in the pageant's history. With Islamophobic rhetoric plaguing the US, Aden was not just representing little girls everywhere, she was standing up for them.
In the time since, Aden has signed with IMG Models and has booked gigs with Carine Roitfeld and Kanye West. We hope to see more of Miss Universe Great Britain, as well as many more Muslim models in general, in the future, too!
After all, as the saying goes, "Different things empower different women and it's not your place to tell her which one it is."