Barbie honors Ibtihaj Muhammad with hijab-wearing doll

Danny Woods
November 15, 2017

U.S. Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first hijab-wearing Barbie doll.

Ibtihaj has become an inspiration to many when she became the first athlete to wear a hijab as an Olympian from the US and became the first Muslim American woman to win an Olympic medal, bringing home the bronze in team saber in the 2016 Olympics.

"I'm excited to just partner with a brand that I know honors powerful women who are breaking barriers and whose sole goal is to impact the future leaders of tomorrow", Muhammad told People. "Flawless hijab moment right here-this is incredible", she exclaimed. Mattel wrote. "Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries".

The Barbie "Shero" line includes dolls inspired by director Ava DuVernay, actress Zendaya and gymnast Gabby Douglas.

The unveiling of the latest Barbie Shero was made at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year LIVE Summit and the doll will go on sale in 2018.

Doll company Barbie has unveiled its first hijab-wearing doll to honour an American Olympic fencer, as the traditional Islamic headscarf goes mainstream through catwalks, magazine covers and emoji smartphone symbols.

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The doll is part of the new "Fashionistas" range that features dolls with different body types, skin and eye colours for both Barbie and Ken.

The medalist sent a tweet about her Barbie doll, calling it a "dream come true".

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out", said Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie. "I played with Barbie for a long time, what some people may call an uncomfortably long time", she joked.

On their website, Mattel said they hoped the doll would serve as "an inspiration for countless little girls who never saw themselves represented in sports and culture".

Barbie however isn't the only brand that has recognised toy dolls could do with a little diversifying.

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