Mattel unveils first Barbie to wear a hijab


As part of Mattel's "Shero" line, which honors heroes like Ava DuVernay, Muhammad will get her very own doll. Each year, the "Shero" Barbie program honors a select group of notable women who inspire the next generation of woman leaders.

According to The Wrap, Muhammad's Barbie made its debut at Glamour's Women of the Year Live Summit earlier today.

Ibtihaj hasn't only inspired women through her sport. Muhammad's doll also marks the first time Barbie has worn a hijab, which is the traditional head covering that many Muslim women wear while in public.

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While playing dress-up or with dolls tends to be trivialized, Muhammad fiercely argues that the ability for girls to imagine the different things they can be, and envision themselves in different spaces, is crucial.

"My mom made efforts when I was a kid to bring dolls into the house that were only dolls of color", she said. "I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle, and now I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams".

Shejah Shal Miller, the vice-president of global marketing for Barbie, spoke about the company's decision to honor Muhammad.

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United States fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad described the Barbie doll created in her likeness as a "childhood dream come true". "Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype - which to me is the definition of a modern American woman", Glamour Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive, said in a statement. "I think its 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", she says. Now girls who wear a hijab can have a Barbie that looks like them too. "And that's what Mattel wants-they want women who are championing their differences", Graham said.

The new doll is the first Barbie to wear a hijab and will be available starting in 2018. Muhammad made history back in 2016 for being the first member of the United States Olympic team to compete with a hijab and Mattel is returning the favor with the brand new limited-edition Barbie doll.

It is not the first time Mattel, which is now facing financial difficulties, has honored an American Olympian with a doll. And that's something to celebrate.

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