Mattel Releases Hijab-Wearing Barbie Doll Modeled After Olympian

Mattel released a hijab-wearing Barbie doll on Monday, modeled after Muslim American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad as part of the toy company’s “Shero” program.

Glamour magazine presented the doll in Muhammad’s honor at the Woman of the Year summit in New York City Monday, the New York Post reports.

“Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype — which to me is the definition of a modern American woman,” Glamour’s editor-in-chief, Cindi Leive, said in a statement.

Muhammad, an Olympic fencer who made her claim to fame as the first American woman to compete in the Olympics while wearing a headscarf, praised the Shero program on social media and thanked those who chose to make the doll in her honor.

“The Barbie Shero Program recognizes women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls, and I am so excited to join this incredible group of women,” Muhammad wrote on Instagram. “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.”

The Olympian won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Mattel said the doll would be available for purchase next fall.

Mattel’s “Shero” program has also created dolls in honor of other celebrities, such as gymnast Gabby Douglas, Selma director Ava DuVernay, and plus-size model Ashley Graham.

Mattel rolled out curvy, petite, and tall versions of the Barbie doll in 2016, and the company introduced Ken dolls, available in several different skin tones and three different body types.


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