There is now a hijab-wearing Barbie for the first time ever
Barbie is breaking her mold yet again. The most recent addition to the “Shero” Barbie family is a hijab-wearing Barbie dedicated to Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab. As Muhammad explained in her most recent Instagram caption, the Barbie Shero Program honors women who “break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls.”
While wearing her traditional Islamic hijab, Muhammad competed as a sabre fencer in the 2016 Summer Olympics. During the games, she became a symbol of American diversity, all while the 2016 presidential election hurtled toward its surprising (and devastating) conclusion.
Muhammad told Bustle that she’s honored to be the model for which this doll was designed. She’s thankful that young Muslim girls will now have the chance to see themselves in the character’s likeness.
"Through playing with Barbie," Muhammad said in a statement to Bustle, "I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become. I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle. Now, I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams."
Muhammad’s Shero Barbie also comes outfitted in full fencing attire, complete with a mask and sabre. The doll will become available for purchase in 2018.
Barbie and Mattel have been shifting their image to become more diverse via their You Can Be Anything campaign. The line of dolls now includes careers like veterinarian, pilot, firefighter, and businesswoman.
As a badass Muslim fencer, Muhammad is a perfect fit for the empowering campaign.
Muhammad’s Shero doll was presented to her by model Ashley Graham at the November 13th Glamour Women of the Year Summit, where the publication called Muhammad “a modern American woman.”
In her Instagram caption, Muhammad wrote, "I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true."
We think it’s safe to say that this is a childhood dream come true for many hijab-wearing girls out there. Congratulations to Muhammad and to Mattel for representing the diverse women who make America great.