Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP
Mattel unveiled its first hijab-wearing Barbie doll on Monday, modeled after fencer Ibtihaj Muhammed, who has damaged floor herself as the primary U.S. Olympic athlete to compete within the head scarf.
“Perfect hijab moment right here, this is amazing,” Muhammed stated as she beheld the doll for the primary time on the Glamour Women of the Year Summit, her likeness clad in a white fencing uniform and clutching a sword and helmet.
Muhammed stated she performed with Barbies till she was a young person, however not one of the dolls seemed like her, so she resorted to stitching mini hijabs onto them. Now she is hoping the brand new doll evokes different ladies “to embrace what makes them unique.”
In an interview with ESPNW, Muhammed, 31, stated, “I feel like I’ve always embraced being ‘different’ in respect to breaking boundaries, being an African-American Muslim woman in the sport of fencing.”
It was greater than figurine’s hijab that mattered to Muhammed. “Growing up I was always told that my legs were big,” the New Jersey native informed ESPN. “(I)t was important to me that my doll has an athletic build and toned legs, which I have. Those legs helped me win my medal at the Olympic Games.”
Muhammed gained bronze on the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, which additionally gave her the excellence of turning into the primary Muslim American girl to take residence an Olympic title.
The doll, which will not be obtainable for buy till 2018, is a part of Mattel’s “Sheroes” line, modeled after real-life ladies who’re “breaking boundaries.” In May, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas was acknowledged along with her personal “Shero” doll.
Mattel has been working to maneuver Barbie’s picture away from the blonde-haired, blue-eyed and unattainably proportioned clone. In 2016, it rolled out its Barbie Fashionista’s line, with dolls of 4 physique sorts, seven pores and skin tones and 24 hairstyles. The new dolls have been credited with serving to revive gross sales.
Even Barbie’s boyfriend Ken acquired a makeover earlier this yr, with greater than a dozen new dolls of various shapes, shades and hairdos — man-bun included.
More than simply toys, Muhammed tells ESPN the dolls could be instruments to “show children how to embrace what makes them different and to remind them that they’re beautiful and they can be whatever they want. We can help push that narrative through role play, through dolls and through using your imagination.”