“I’m over the moon,” says Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.
We’ve long wondered why Mattel hadn’t yet introduced a hijabi doll to their extensive collection. The wait is now over, and it’s come around in such a cool way.
The American toy brand have made a doll modelled after the barrier-breaking athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete at the Olympic Games while wearing a hijab.
Part of the brand’s Shero line, the new doll joins ones made for Ashley Graham, Zendaya and Gabby Douglas, among others. Alongside the doll’s attire (which mirrors Muhammad’s fencing garb) its build is also modelled after Muhammad’s athletic figure.
“I know that as an athlete I have larger legs — these strong legs that we use, especially fencers, to propel ourselves into lunges — and it was important for me to have my doll be as close to my likeness as possible,” she told People. “So I wanted to have athletic toned legs for sure.”
Also a key element? Muhammad’s signature makeup look.
“I’m also really big to into eyeliner. I like to think of my eyeliner as a shield of power; I not only wear it to the grocery store but I also wear it to compete,” she continued to the magazine. “I wore it to the Olympic games, so I wanted my Barbie to have the perfect winged liner and also to wear a hijab.”
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 😭💘 #shero pic.twitter.com/py7nbtb2KD
— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) November 13, 2017
“Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become,” Muhammad said. “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.”
“To be included in this conversation is very humbling and I’m over the moon about this whole thing.”
Muhammad is very aware of her status as a pioneer, saying that as a Muslim, African-American woman, she wants her doll to appeal to both girls that look like her and those who don’t.
“I feel like we’re just shattering all the little glass ceilings here,” she told People.
Mattel have made a very smart move pairing up with this inspiring, dedicated woman. Muhammad’s doll will be available next year, according to Mattel’s website.
We’re thinking there are a number of girls right here in the UAE who would be thrilled to get their hands on one.
Images: Getty, Mattel