First ever hijab-wearing Barbie unveiled

After making history back in 2016 by becoming the first member of the US Olympic team to compete in hijab, Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad has done it again by creating a Barbie designed after herself.

She teamed up with Mattel to create the first ever hijab-wearing Barbie, reported Glamourand it’s definitely more than just a special edition doll.

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Ibtihaj first saw her doll at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit 2017, shortly after visiting the Mattel factory to contribute to the design process, Ashley Graham, who made her own Barbie’s debut at last year’s Summit, helped launch the new doll.


Ibtihaj showed a great amount of joy and appreciation after being introduced to the Barbie. The doll was a complete duplication of her, down to the fencing uniform including the headscarf, “I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m so excited!” she exclaimed. “Perfect hijab moment right here – this is amazing!”

The Olympian went on to ponder over her childhood and how she spent it playing with dolls, “I played with Barbie for a long time, what some people may call an uncomfortably long time,” she joked. “But in those early days, I didn’t have Barbies that wore a headscarf, so I would sew on my own hijabs with my sisters.”

Muslim fencer becomes first American athlete to compete at the Olympics wearing a hijab

Ibtihaj believes that the new Barbie doll will make a difference: “I hope that little girls of colour across the heartland will be inspired to embrace what makes them unique,” she said.

While presenting Ibtihaj with her Barbie, Ashley echoed the importance of this new doll, “Barbie is every kind of woman now, and that’s why it’s so exciting to be a part of this journey with Barbie,” she said to Ibtihaj.


She continued, “You embrace what makes you different, what makes you stand out… and that’s what Mattel wants – they want women who are championing their differences.”

The Barbie wearing a hijab will be available in 2018 but it will definitely be worth the wait. – especially for all those girls who will finally see a representation of themselves within Mattel’s famous doll. “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,” said Ibtihaj.

“For all those people who didn’t believe in me, this Barbie doll is for you,” she concluded.


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