Hijab Barbie is no longer just an Instagram account. Barbie is continuing to make history with its first hijab-wearing doll. Paying homage American Olympic fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the first American to compete and medal in the Olympic while wearing a hijab.
The 31-year-old, who was also named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” last year, is the latest woman to be honoured as part of the Barbie “Sheroes” program. Celebrating women who push through and challenge boundaries set in their field, last year’s honoree, model and activist Ashley Graham presented Muhammad with her doll at Glamour magazine’s annual Women of the Year summit in New York.
Having visited the Mattel factory to weigh in on the design process, the sabre fencing bronze medallist said being presented with the mini replica was a “perfect hijab moment,” both for herself and other young women who would finally feel represented. Muhammad also spoke to the audience about sewing her own hijabs with her sister.
“I played with Barbie for a long time, what some people may call an uncomfortably long time,” she joked during the Glamour summit where editor-in-chief of the magazine Cindi Leive said she defined the “modern American woman.”
“I hope that little girls of colour across the heartland will be inspired to embrace what makes them unique.”
As well as Graham, Muhammad joins an impressive list of “sheroes” including Zendaya, Emmy Rossum, gymnast Gabby Douglas and ballet dancer Misty Copeland, calling the opportunity “super humbling,” according to People Style.
The athlete took time during the design process to ensure the doll featured a realistic sense of body type including “strong legs” and her signature eyeliner, which she sees as her “shield of power.”
“I’m excited to just partner with a brand that I know honours powerful women who are breaking barriers and whose sole goal is to impact the future leaders of tomorrow,” she told People Style.Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie Shero family! The Barbie Shero Program recognizes women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls and I am so excited to join this incredible group of women. 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 #sheroA post shared by Ibtihaj Muhammad (@ibtihajmuhammad) on Nov 13, 2017 at 10:12am PSTWe are so excited to honor @IbtihajMuhammad with a one-of-a-kind #Barbie doll! Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries. #Shero#YouCanBeAnything#GlamourWOTYpic.twitter老域名出售/oV0e6ClgL6??? Barbie (@Barbie) November 13, 2017