Mattel Releases Hijab-Wearing Barbie Inspired by Olympic Fencer

15 November, 2017, 01:25 | Author: Greg Santos
  • No body shaming The model is an activist speaking out on body image issues for women

Tweeting about the news, Ibtihaj said it's a childhood dream come true.

Muhammad won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Olympic games as part of Team Sabre, making her the first female Muslim-American medalist.

Muhammad, the first American athlete to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics, had a major role in designing the doll. But this is more than a special-edition doll: It's the first-ever Barbie to wear a hijab, which makes it a crucial win for inclusivity and representation.

"Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries", the Barbie makers said.

"I can't believe this is happening honestly", Muhammad told HuffPost. Ava Duvernay, Emmy Rossum, Gabby Douglas and Misty Copeland also have dolls modelled off them.

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Ibtihaj's doll will be available for purchase in 2018. It's a feat she described on Monday, when the doll was unveiled, as "amazing".

Ibtihaj Muhammad visited the Mattel factory when the doll was being designed, but the Glamour Women of the Year event was the first time that she had seen the doll as a finished product and she could barely contain her excitement.

The doll was introduced at the Glamour Women of the Year gala in NY, where Muhammad was on hand to express her gratitude.

Not only does her Barbie represent a whole new population of women, but it opens many more doors of creativity for children when they play with Barbie. It also includes a fencing uniform with her name on it, a fencing mask, and a sabre. "I wore it to the Olympic games, so I wanted my Barbie to have the flawless winged liner and also to wear a hijab".

Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie said, "Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out". "I feel like we're just shattering all the little glass ceilings here".

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