Hijab Barbie is now not simply an Instagram account. Barbie is constant to make historical past with its first hijab-wearing doll. Paying homage American Olympic fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the primary American to compete and medal within the Olympic whereas carrying a hijab.
The 31-year-old, who was additionally named one in every of TIME journal’s “100 Most Influential Folks” final 12 months, is the newest lady to be honoured as a part of the Barbie “Sheroes” program. Celebrating girls who push by means of and problem boundaries set of their subject, final 12 months’s honoree, mannequin and activist Ashley Graham offered Muhammad together with her doll at Glamour journal’s annual Ladies of the Yr summit in New York.
Having visited the Mattel manufacturing unit to weigh in on the design course of, the sabre fencing bronze medallist mentioned being offered with the mini reproduction was a “excellent hijab second,” each for herself and different younger girls who would lastly really feel represented. Muhammad additionally spoke to the viewers about stitching her personal hijabs together with her sister.
“I performed with Barbie for a very long time, what some individuals might name an uncomfortably very long time,” she joked through the Glamour summit the place editor-in-chief of the journal Cindi Leive mentioned she outlined the “trendy American lady.”
“I hope that little ladies of color throughout the heartland might be impressed to embrace what makes them distinctive.”
In addition to Graham, Muhammad joins a powerful listing of “sheroes” together with Zendaya, Emmy Rossum, gymnast Gabby Douglas and ballet dancer Misty Copeland, calling the chance “tremendous humbling,” in keeping with Folks Type.
The athlete took time through the design course of to make sure the doll featured a practical sense of physique kind together with “robust legs” and her signature eyeliner, which she sees as her “protect of energy.”
“I am excited to simply companion with a model that I do know honours highly effective girls who’re breaking limitations and whose sole purpose is to affect the longer term leaders of tomorrow,” she informed Folks Type.
Muhammad burdened that the doll will begin dialog round acceptance, with non-Muslims having the “alternative to play with a doll that wears a hijab”
“To be included on this dialog could be very humbling and I am over the moon about this entire factor. I feel it is revolutionary for Barbie to take a stand on this second that we’re in – and I might say, as a rustic, to have a doll put on a hijab and be the primary of its variety,” she mentioned.
Muhammad was shocked that activist Malala Yousafzai wasn’t the primary hijab-wearing Barbie saying she would be the “agent” for Mattel making her the following “shero”
“I feel it will be cool to have Malala have a Barbie doll… her storyline generally can be nice to show our children in the present day. I am gonna inform Mattel to streamline that.”
Sejal Shal Miller, vice chairman of world advertising for Barbie, added within the press launch, “Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not just for her accolades as an Olympian, however for embracing what makes her stand out,”
“Ibtihaj is an inspiration to numerous ladies who by no means noticed themselves represented, and by honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they are often and do something.”
Past the sporting area, Muhammad can be leaving her mark on the style trade together with her clothes line Louella, which focuses on modest, fashion-forward garments for ladies.
Final 12 months Mattel introduced a better give attention to body-postivity and range with the introduction of three completely different physique sorts and varied pores and skin tones, eye colors, hairstyles and face shapes. Muhammad’s “Shero” doll might be out there for buy within the US in 2018.