Thanks to Ibtihaj Muhammad, The First Hijab-Wearing Barbie Is Here

No body shaming The model is an activist speaking out on body image issues for women

The most recent addition to the "Shero" Barbie family is a hijab-wearing Barbie dedicated to Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab.

Muhammad, the first American athlete to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics, had a major role in designing the doll. "Perfect hijab moment right here, this is wonderful".

The doll was unveiled at Glamour's Woman of the Year Summit in NY as part of Barbie's Shero program, which recognises remarkable women and their achievements. The inspirational and boundary-breaking women, who inspired such dolls, include Ashley Graham, Zendaya, Kristin Chenoweth, Gabby Douglas, Emmy Rossum, Trisha Yearwood, Misty Copeland and Ava DuVernay.

After visiting the Mattel factory to weigh in on the design process, Muhammad saw her doll for the first time at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit 2017.

Mattel has for a while been on a real drive to make Barbie dolls more diverse and realistic, and here's the latest result of that push: the first Barbie to wear a hijab headscarf.

The hijab - one of the most visible signs of Islamic culture - is becoming increasingly popular with Western businesses, from hijab-wearing models in top fashion magazines to Apple's recently launched emoji character in a hijab.

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out", Sejal Shah Miller, Barbie's vice-president of marketing, told Bustle in a statement. "I feel very proud and good about working with a brand that honors not just powerful women and women of color, but also a brand that honors women who are working to impact the global community, not just today but also in the future". "Now, I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams". "To be included in this conversation is very humbling and I'm over the moon about this whole thing".

Barbie however isn't the only brand that has recognised toy dolls could do with a little diversifying.



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