Mattel has made history with the first hijab-wearing Barbie to honor Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad. Muhammad made history back in 2016 for being the first member of the United States Olympic team to compete with a hijab and Mattel is returning the favor with the brand new limited-edition Barbie doll. The one-of-a-kind doll made in Muhammad's likeness was unveiled at Glamour's Women of the Year Live Summit Monday, as the latest doll in Barbie's "Shero" line, or female heroes, a program that celebrates women intended to inspire the next generation.
Ibtihaj Muhammad visited the Mattel factory when the doll was being designed, but the Glamour Women of the Year event was the first time that she had seen the doll as a finished product and she could barely contain her excitement. She had this to say.
"I don't know if you can tell, but I'm so excited! Perfect hijab moment right here, this is amazing... I hope that little girls of color across the heartland will be inspired to embrace what makes them unique."
Muhammad joins a number of history making women who have had special "Shero" Barbie dolls made in their likeness, including model Ashley Graham and Misty Copeland in 2016 and director Ava DuVernay in 2015. Like Graham before her, Muhammad made sure the doll represented her in body shape and in her makeup. The sabre fencer is known for her signature eyeliner.
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." Miller continued by saying that "Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented," and continued by saying that Barbie is proud to be working with the Olympian. The doll will be the very first Barbie doll to wear a hijab and the event is considered to be historic. Ibtihaj Muhammad's Barbie will be available sometime in 2018.
The hijab is a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women in the presence of male adults outside of their immediate family and it usually covers the head and chest areas. It's usually worn as a symbol of privacy and modesty, as The Qur'an instructs Muslim women to dress modestly. In some cultures, the hijab covers the entire body of the woman except for the face. In the Qur'an, the term "hijab" refers to a partition or curtain in the literal or metaphorical sense. The verse where it is used literally is commonly understood to refer to the curtain separating visitors to Muhammad's house from his wives' lodgings.
Ibtihaj Muhammad said that she was humbled and excited to be a part of history again. The limited-edition dolls will be for sale in 2018 and this new doll is expected to be a hot seller. She had this to say.
"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. To be included in this conversation is very humbling and I'm over the moon about this whole thing."
The sabre fencing Ibtihaj Muhammad doll is the first doll in Mattel's history to wear a hijab as the company tries to make dolls to represent everybody. You can check out the brand new Ibtihaj Muhammad Barbie with a hijab below, courtesy of the official Barbie Twitter page.
We are so excited to honor @IbtihajMuhammad with a one-of-a-kind #Barbie doll! Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries. #Shero#YouCanBeAnything#GlamourWOTYpic.twitter.com/oV0e6ClgL6— Barbie (@Barbie) November 13, 2017