First hijab-wearing Barbie to honour Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

First hijab-wearing Barbie to honour Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

Muhammad, the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Games.

One of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People" of 2016, Muhammad not only breaks boundaries with her swordsmanship, but with the launch of her clothing line, Louella.

"Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything", Sejal Shah Miller, Barbie's vice president of global marketing, said in a statement.

Muhammed said she played with Barbies until she was a teenager, but none of the dolls looked like her, so she resorted to sewing mini hijabs onto them.

"Barbie has just rolled out a new hijab-wearing doll as the latest addition to Mattel's "Shero" program." However, manufactures Mattel, Inc broke this image associated with the doll with the "Shero" line (that would be female heroes), a programme that celebrates boundary-breaking women meant to inspire the next generation.

"I'm proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!". That's what we have here. She embraces it for her own reasons, and that's the doll that Mattel made.

Barbie has been making history since she was first created in 1959.

When Muhammad was young she used to make hijab out of tissue and wrap it around Barbie dolls so that they could resemble her and her siblings.

"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", she said.

So, this is a "Muslim Barbie".

"Perfect hijab moment right here, this is incredible", Muhammed said as she beheld the doll for the first time at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit, her likeness clad in a white fencing uniform and clutching a sword and helmet. While it would be wrong to shut down legitimate criticism of the hijab, some are using this doll as an opportunity to spread anti-Muslim propaganda and they deserve to be called out on it.

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