March 17, 2018

Hijab-Wearing Barbie Makes Her Debut

14 November 2017, 12:52 | Winston Chapman

Mattel is officially coming out with its first hijab-wearing Barbie!

Mattel has unveiled a new history-making Barbie in honor of an American Olympian.

Muhammad is a sabre fencer and was the first American Olympic athlete to compete in an event while wearing a hijab when she participated in the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

It's safe to say Muhammad has a career tons of girls aspire to: She challenged stereotypes when she became the first Olympian from the compete while wearing a hijab, was one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" of 2016, and recently launched the clothing line, Louella.

"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", she said to PEOPLE. 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 incredible RL women including Gabby Douglas, Trisha Yearwood, and Ava DuVernay.

Ibtihaj posed with the doll at Glamour's Women of the Year Live Summit, and later raved about her Barbie's debut. It will be released to the public in the fall of 2019. The new doll is the newest addition to the brand's annual Shero program, which honors admirable women and their achievements.

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The athlete worked with Mattel every step of the way in the design process and says her resemblance to the doll is uncanny. "She also needed to have the flawless winged eyeliner because it's one of the things that makes me feel great-it's my shield of power".

Muhammad turned serious remembering her childhood experiences playing with Barbie-and how she wished for one that looked like her. She found being included "very humbling".

Ibtihaj's "Shero" doll will be available for purchase in 2018.

"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. Now girls who wear a hijab can have a Barbie that looks like them too. That's just another reason that she is a flawless choice for the Shero Barbie honor.

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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