Mattel's first hijab-wearing doll honours Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad

The doll is part of Mattel's Shero Barbie line that pays tribute to "female heroes who inspire girls"

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 14 Nov 2017

Ibtihaj's Barbie
Photo: ibtihajmuhammad/Instagram

Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first American Muslim woman to win a bronze medal in sabre fencing in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Now, she's making history again by getting a Barbie doll made in her honour. It also wears a hijab, just like her, making it the first Barbie to ever wear one (Hijarbie isn't by Mattel).

The doll is created as part of Mattel's Shero Barbie line which honours "female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere." Ava Duvernay, Emmy Rossum, Gabby Douglas and Misty Copeland also have dolls modelled off them.

"I think it's revolutionary for Barbie to take a stand in this moment that we're in – and I would say, as a country, to have a doll wear a hijab and be the first of its kind," Ibtihaj said to People.

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out," Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of marketing for Barbie, told Bustle. "Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented. By honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything."

This is a huge deal for Mattel as its iconic doll usually only caters to the streotyped body image of slim, tall and white women. The toy company announced in January last year that it would also start to include more body and skin types in Barbie dolls.


A post shared by Ibtihaj Muhammad (@ibtihajmuhammad) on

Related: Anne Hathaway might replace Amy Schumer in live-action 'Barbie' film
Related: Hijarbie is the hijab-wearing Barbie the world needs


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