© Mattel Inc.
Mattel is making history today with the release of its first hijab-wearing Barbie, modeled after American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the first American to compete and medal in the Olympics while wearing a hijab. The doll was unveiled Monday at Glamour‘s Women of the Year summit in New York City. “Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype — which to me is the definition of a modern American woman,” Glamour Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive, said in a statement.
Ibtihaj, who was also named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” last year, is the most recent honoree of the Barbie “Shero” program, which celebrates women who push through and challenge boundaries in their fields. Last year’s honoree was model and activist Ashley Graham, who presented Ibtihaj with her doll this year. “Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out,” Sejal Shal Miller, Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie, said in the press release. “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.”
Ibtihaj hasn’t only inspired women through her sport. She also created the clothing line, Louella, which offers a large selection of modest, fashion-forward clothes for women.