The first hijab-wearing Barbie has made its official debut

Carla Harmon
November 14, 2017

Mattel has made many inclusive additions to its lineup in recent years, such as body-positive Barbie and Ken dolls and the aptly named "Shero" dolls, which pay homage to some awesome RL women including Gabby Douglas, Trisha Yearwood, and Ava DuVernay. The doll was made in the likeness of Muhammad, complete with a hijab, a fencing uniform, Nike shoes, helmet, and saber.

As a Barbie "Shero", Muhammad joins the ranks of Gabby Douglas, Ava DuVernay, and Misty Copeland, among many other accomplished women, who have all been honored with Barbie dolls of their own.

"When I think about my own journey, me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing, there were people who made me feel like I didn't belong", said Muhammad, speaking at the Glamour's Women of the Year summit, where the doll was unveiled.

Bronze medalist and sabre competitor Ibtihaj Muhammad, 31, made headlines when she donned her hijab at the Rio Olympic games a year ago.

The 2007 Duke University graduate and fencer became the first Muslim woman to win a national title in 2009, and in 2012, she was named the Muslim Sportswoman of the Year. "Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries", Mattel wrote on its social media accounts, accompanied by a photo of Muhammad holding the doll. The history-making doll will be based on an equally inspirational woman: Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad. The toy company's newest addition to this line of dolls is the first-ever hijabi Barbie, crafted after the first-ever hijabi U.S. Olympian, Ibtihaj Muhammad. She also described her experience growing up and playing with Barbies herself. "Now, I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams".

The athlete expressed her delight that children who wear headscarves themselves can play with a doll that look like them.

Ultimately, Muhammad was a ideal choice for Mattel to immortalize in their iconic doll for this year's Shero lineup. The doll will be the very first Barbie doll to wear a hijab and the event is considered to be historic.

Barbie and Mattel have been shifting their image to become more racially diverse via their You Can Be Anything campaign.

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