Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Olympian-inspired Barbie is first Mattel doll to wear a hijab

Olympian-inspired Barbie is first Mattel doll to wear a hijab

Muhammad made history in 2016 as the first American athlete to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab, and now she's breaking barriers again as the first hijab-wearing Barbie doll. After earning the bronze for sabre fencing, she became the first female Muslim-American to win an Olympic medal.

The athlete worked with Mattel every step of the way in the design process and says her resemblance to the doll is uncanny.

The doll will be part of Barbie's "Shero" line, which includes iconic women like Trisha Yearwood, Gabby Douglas and Misty Copeland and will be available for purchase in 2018. The one-of-a-kind doll made in Muhammad's likeness was unveiled at Glamour's Women of the Year Live Summit Monday, as the latest doll in Barbie's "Shero" line, or female heroes, a program that celebrates women meant to inspire the next generation. Now, the Olympian says she is elated to have a doll made to her likeness. Last year's honoree was model and activist Ashley Graham, who presented Ibtihaj with her doll this year.

She said she was never able to find dolls that looked like her when she was growing up. She also created the clothing line, Louella, which offers a large selection of modest, fashion-forward clothes for women.

Speaking to People, Muhammad said she was excited about working with Mattel because it works hard to promote strong women and inspire future generations.

"It's a very humbling experience to even be in the same sentence with these women", she said.

Muhammad's Barbie doll wears full fencing gear.

"Today I'm proud to know that little girls who wear hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don't, can play with a Barbie who chooses to wear a headscarf", she said. But also have kids who aren't Muslim, who don't wear a hijab, to also have the opportunity to play with a doll that wears a hijab.

Barbie, Muhammad, and others took to Twitter to celebrate the ground-breaking announcement.

Something that she made sure her doll featured was a realistic sense of her body type and her signature eye liner. Hence the reason there is now a hijab-wearing Barbie.

According to Mic, Muhammad was specifically chosen for a special release as a "shero".

Unfortunately though, if you were looking to get this particular Barbie for your child this Christmas, they'll have to wait until the next holiday season.

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