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She competed in a hijab and burkini, making Miss Minnesota history at 19.

For the first time in the pageant's history, a contestant wore a burkini during the swimsuit segment.

She was born in a Kenyan refugee camp. Then, at 6 years old, Halima Aden and her family moved to Minnesota.

Minnesota is home to one of the largest Somali communities in the U.S. As such, Aden grew up surrounded by lots of other Muslim women and girls. What she saw in the media, however, didn't match her own experience growing up in America.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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