Barbie unveils first doll wearing a hijab

Mattel Inc - Ibtihaj Muhammed Barbie

Barbie has unveiled its first hijab-wearing doll, in honour of Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab.

Muhammad is the latest honouree of Barbie’s Shero program that recognises women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls. Other Shero dolls include Ashley Graham, Gabby Douglas and Ava Duvernay.

Fencer, Muhammad made history by becoming the first woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the 2016 Olympics. She also became the first female Muslim-American athlete to win a medal at the games.

The doll was unveiled at the Glamour Women of the Year LIVE Summit, an annual event that gives young women the opportunity to hear from select past and present Women of the Year honourees, as well as other influential leaders from a variety of fields.

Speaking about her doll, Muhammad said, “Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become.”

“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.”

Sejal Shah Miller, Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie, said, “Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out.”

“Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything.”

Glamour Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive added, “Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype – which to me is the definition of a modern American woman.”

“Last year, she was the first athlete from the US to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, and today we are thrilled to celebrate Ibtihaj as the first hijab-wearing Barbie.”

“She will play a tremendous role in ensuring that girls of the future see themselves represented fully and beautifully in our culture.”

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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