Muslim Somali model Halima Aden has been selected as one of the top ‘100 Most Beautiful Faces of 2021’ by TC Candler on their 32nd annual independent critics list released on Tuesday.
Aden – the first hijab-wearing supermodel – placed third on the world-famous list, published every year since 1990.
The list is decided upon by writer TC Candler and The Independent Critics, “a diverse group of approximately 20 people living in various parts of the world”, according to their website.
The critics listen to the millions of suggestions submitted by the public to “put together a list representative of the modern ideal of worldwide beauty”.
“The 100 Most Beautiful Faces List is not a popularity contest… the list attempts to inform & broaden public opinion, instead of reflecting it,” TC Candler and the critics say, adding that its diversity relies on public suggestions “from almost every corner of the globe”.
“Aesthetic perfection is only one of the criteria. Grace, elegance, originality, daring, passion, class, poise, joy, promise, hope… they are all embodied in a beautiful face,” they add.
Thai singer Lalisa Manobal, a member of K-pop girl group Blackpink, topped the 2021 list. Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who has links to the Israeli Army, placed fifteenth.
Previous winners include Nicole Kidman in 2001, Lindsay Lohan in 2004, and Emma Watson in 2011.
The critics claim the list has more annual views than lists People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful, Maxim’s Hot 100, FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women and K-Pop 4 Life’s Bias Wars, combined.
Aden decided to retire from modelling in November 2020, saying the industry pressured her into compromising her religious beliefs.
However, the world-class beauty made a return to the industry in September this year and was named a global ambassador for modest fashion brand Modanisa.
“It’s incredible to represent Muslim women but in a way that’s also… you know, you’re not conforming in order to fit in,” she said in an interview with Good Morning America.