Ibtihaj Muhammad has managed to do something that has not happened in the 58 years of existence of the Barbie brand!
Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first US Olympian to compete in the Rio Olympics wearing a headscarf/hijab on her head. And she now has a Barbie modeled after her and that Barbie too wears a headscarf!
Ibtihaj is a 31-year-old saber competitor. And she shocked millions when she decided to compete in the Rio Olympics game last year while wearing her headscarf.
Now, there has been a Barbie doll modeled after her. Mattel, which is American multinational toy manufacturing company revealed a doll made in honor of Ibtihaj as part of its ‘Shero’ line dedicated to inspirational women around the world.
The list of inspirational women includes Ava DuVernay, Ashley Graham, Misty Copeland and Gabby Douglas.
Ibtihaj was very excited about this endeavor and posed with her her ‘mini me’ at Glamour’s Women of the Year Live Summit and enthusiastically spoke about the new doll.
She told People, “It’s so cool to see myself in this little doll form with my fencing uniform on. It says my name on the back and it has a fencing mask and the little sabre. I just love it!”
This is a commendable move on part of the American multinational company. In the world today, where there is so much taboo attached to women wearing headscarves and very little appreciation for them, this move is definitely praiseworthy.
Mattel is showcasing that these women are also inspirational, and not matter what one wears or looks like, talent and dedication exceeds all!
Ibtihaj also spoke about that girls who wear headscarves and how they would be delighted to play with a doll that looks like them.
She said “I think it’s revolutionary for Barbie to take a stand in this moment that we’re in– and I would say, as a country, to have a doll wear a hijab and be the first of its kind.”
“There has never been a Barbie doll to wear a hijab before. I’m really excited to have this moment happen in my life and also for all these little girls now who can shop for Barbie doll that may look like them, may wear a hijab like they do, or like their mom does, or like a friend does,” She added.
“But also have kids who aren’t Muslim, who don’t wear a hijab, to also have the opportunity to play with a doll that wears a hijab.” she concluded.
Ibtihaj wanted to make sure that the doll depicts her realistically. She made the doll wear similar eyeliner which she uses during her tournaments. She also wanted the barbie doll to depict her figure realistically.
Regarding this she stated, “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. So I wanted to have athletic toned legs for sure.”
Ibtihaj’s doll will be available to purchase in 2018.
She also wishes to see doll modeled after Malala Yousafzai in the future.
Cindi Leive, Glamour editor-in-chief is very excited to see Ibtihaj become the inspiration to create a new barbie doll. “Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype–which to me is the definition of a modern American woman.”
She added “Last year, she was the first athlete from the U.S 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.”
We’re glad that this new Barbie doll honors all women who break boundaries and does not promote impossible proportions and wrong body image!