Barbie brand just made its ascent into inclusivity history by debuting its very first hijab-wearing model.
Inspired by olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the doll is an extension of how a little representation can go a long way in encouraging and honouring girls of various backgrounds.
Muhammad made history in the summer of 2016 as the first member of the U.S. Olympic team to compete in a hijab. Now, she’s making history once again by lending her likeness to Barbie.
Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! 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 😭💘 #shero pic.twitter.com/py7nbtb2KD
— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) November 13, 2017
“Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! 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 😭💘 #shero”
After consulting with Mattel on a doll that captures her likeness, Muhammad excitedly saw the creation for the first time at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit 2017. Ashley Graham, who debuted her own signature Barbie at last year’s ceremony, helped introduce the new doll.
Speaking to the audience, Muhammad jokingly called the honor, a “Perfect hijab moment,” before remembering defining memories in her youth that made the moment that much more special, explaining:
“I would even sew little tiny hijabs on my Barbie dolls, sometimes made of tissue. Now Mattel is doing this for us.
Today I’m proud to know that little girls who wear a hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don’t, can play with a Barbie who chooses to wear a head scarf.
Sharing earlier on her visit to the Mattel factory, allowing the workers to know exactly what this doll meant to her, Muhammad explained:
“When I think about my own journey, me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing, there were people who made me feel like I didn’t belong. For all those people who didn’t believe in me, this Barbie doll is for you.”
This hijab-wearing Barbie rendition will be available in stores and online in 2018.