The First Hijab-Wearing Barbie Is Based On An American Olympic Medalist

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Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history at the 2016 Rio Games when she became the first American to compete wearing a hijab. Today, she announced that she's about to make history again — this time as the latest addition to the "Shero" Barbie program.
As the newest member of the "Shero" lineup, Muhammad joins badass trailblazers including Ashley Graham, Zendaya, Gabby Douglas, Misty Copeland, and Ava DuVernay. The Muhammad Barbie, which was first shown at Glamour’s Women of the Year Live Summit on Monday, marks the first time in Barbie's 58-year history that the doll has worn a hijab.
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"I’m excited to just partner with a brand that I know honors powerful women who are breaking barriers and whose sole goal is to impact the future leaders of tomorrow," Muhammad told People. "To be included in this conversation is very humbling and I’m over the moon about this whole thing."
When Mattel approached Muhammad about creating a Barbie in her likeness for the "Shero" program, the athlete says she was brought to tears, according to The New Yorker. But she wanted to make sure the final product accurately represented her body type, so Muhammad worked closely with Mattel throughout the design process. "When I was a kid, I remember people commenting on the size of my thighs," Muhammad said. "Then I got involved in sports, and I came to appreciate my body." She requested that the doll have strong legs and wear a hijab.
It's safe to say Muhammad is thrilled with the final product. "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," she tweeted today.
"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out," Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie, said in a statement released today. "Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything."
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If you're clamoring to get your hands on the Muhammad doll, it will be available to the public in fall 2018. We'd say it's well worth the wait.
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