Barbie makes doll of hijab-wearing Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Ibtihaj Muhammad holds a Barbie doll in her likeness at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Kings Theatre on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/U.S. Embassy London)
Barbie makes doll of hijab-wearing Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad
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The maker of Barbie has announced it will sell a doll modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who competed in last year's Olympics while wearing a hijab.

Mattel Inc. said the doll will be available online next fall. The doll is part of the Barbie "Shero" line that honors women who break boundaries. Past dolls have included gymnast Gabby Douglas and "Selma" director Ava DuVernay.

"I had so many moments as an athlete, where I didn't feel included, where I was often in spaces where there was a lack of representation," Muhammad said last Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year gala in New York. "So to be in this moment, as a U.S. Olympian, to have Mattel, such a global brand, diversify their toy line to include a Barbie doll that wears a hijab is very moving to me."

Muhammad, the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Games.

"There was so much about the doll that was important to me," she said. "I know as a kid I was bullied for having larger legs, and sport taught me to embrace my body and to love my body and the strength that it could produce. I think that having strong legs helped me win a medal at the Olympic Games, so I wanted my legs to be larger, more athletic legs, toned legs. And I am very into eyeliner, so I wanted a strong-winged cat eye. And Mattel listened to everything, everything even down to the fabric of the hijab.”

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COMMENTS (7)
  • MarianaG-del
    11/26/2017 - 02:59 p.m.

    This article was very interesting. I cant believe they hsdn't made one yet. It was all about Mattel making a doll that looked like Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

  • samirad-cel
    11/30/2017 - 11:55 a.m.

    i enjoyed reading this story. It's cool that they are making more cultured dolls instead of making the same exact dolls all the time. Having this toy in the market can show younger girls that it's important that they embrace themselves the way they are

  • jamiyac-cel
    11/30/2017 - 12:31 p.m.

    I like the idea of making a barbie doll of Olympian,Ibtihaj Muhammad wearing her hijab because it presents appreciation of diversity and that it is good to embrace your culture.

  • graceh-cel
    12/18/2017 - 12:10 p.m.

    Toys are every day forms of entertainment. With something that is do day-to-day, they can inspire kids to accept diversity and expand their minds to how the world should work.

  • savannahj-cel
    1/08/2018 - 08:27 a.m.

    Todays world is filled with people who are not accepting of others cultures, so for Barbie to make a barbie of an Olympian who wears a hijab is ground-breaking. This shows that some people do care about others and that they won't let what they wear affect how they see them for who they are. Barbie is opening up to being more diverse than it has ever been before. This let's little girls in the world know that there is someone like them out there.

  • AnnaK-pla
    1/29/2018 - 02:01 p.m.

    I think that this is an incredibly important story, especially when it comes to acceptance of others in society. For the first time, the world will see a hijab wearing Barbie, modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammed. Ibtihaj Muhammed mentions being frowned upon as a child for certain physical features, which she wishes Mattel to include in her doll. This is important because it is necessary for young children in this society to be open to different body types and physical features, and being conditioned at a young age to accept these things is a huge step in the right direction. Being an Olympic medalist that chooses to wear her hijab is also an influential decision that Ibtihaj Muhammed makes. This decision shows young people who wear a hijab, or a headdress for other religions, that it is not something to hide or be ashamed of, rather it should be worn proudly. Mattel is making that mindset a bit more achievable with the release of the doll, children who wear a hijab will be able to play with a doll that looks like them, a chance they haven't had before. I believe this collaboration is moving towards making the world a more accepting place.

  • AimeeR-pla
    1/29/2018 - 02:05 p.m.

    This story describes one of the newest Barbie models Mattel introduced based off the Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. It's part of their line of dolls called "Shero," which pays tribute to real women who are heroes and role models. This doll, and the line as a whole, are very interesting because the Barbie brand has a history of controversy centered on body shape and setting poor examples for young girls with lack of diversity. However, this doll has a different body type (more muscular to reflect Muhammad's athletic build), a wider, more realistic smile and overall face design, and a hijab. It's heartwarming to see that game-changers like Ibtihaj Muhammad is being honored by such a widespread and influential company.

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