If Barbie was once existence dimension, she’d be a five’nine”, weighing round 110lbs with a mane of thick blonde hair tumbling all the way down to her tiny, 16-inch waist. So no longer precisely the maximum possible role-model for younger ladies round the global.
Enter Mattel’s latest doll: she’s modelled on fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who made historical past remaining yr when she was the first American to compete and win a medal at the Olympics whilst dressed in the hijab. Now, she’s making historical past once more – this is the first Barbie to ever put on a hijab.
The doll was once published at Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit on Monday, the place Ibtihaj mentioned, “When I think about my own journey – me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing – there were people who made me feel like I didn’t belong. For all those people who didn’t believe in me, this Barbie doll is for you.”
When the New Jersey athlete was once informed Mattel sought after to create a Barbie in her honour, she cried (understandably). Then, she made a couple of requests: Ibtihaj sought after the Barbie to in point of fact constitute her, so she requested for the doll to put on darkish eyeliner, have large, sturdy legs and that she put on the hijab.
“It’s something I wear like I wear a shirt or I wear pants,” says Ibtihaj, who as a kid used to make tiny hijabs out of tissues for her Barbie dolls so they’d glance extra like her and her sisters. Ibtihaj hopes that youngsters will “take [the hijab] off and try it on their other Barbies”.
“Today, I’m proud to know that little girls who wear a hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don’t, can play with Barbie in a headscarf,” says Ibtihaj.
The doll is the the newest addition to Mattel’s ‘Shero’ Barbie assortment – a line of dolls modelled on “female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere”.
The ‘Shero’ line began with a one-off doll created for Zendaya, after she wore her hair in dreadlocks to the Oscars in 2015 and won stunning feedback from the presenters of Fashion Police in reaction (which, in flip, brought about an outrage amongst the public).
Other dolls in the assortment are impressed via mannequin Ashley Graham, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, director Ava DuVernay and ballet dancer Misty Copeland. The Ava and Misty dolls have been put into manufacturing, and the Ibtihaj Muhammad may also be to be had in 2018.
Barbie’s advertising vice chairman Sejal Shah Miller consents: “Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented. By honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything.”