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Mattel's first hijab-wearing doll honours Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad
15 November 2017, 12:26 | Max Haynes
Image via Getty
Eventually, she became the first Muslim-American to bring home a medal (bronze, to be exact).
The Barbie unveiling represents another mainstreaming of the hijab, a broad term for Islamic modesty standards for women in how they dress.
Mattel, the company that manufactures the famous range of dolls, says the hijab-wearing Barbie will be available online next spring in Australia.
Something that she made sure her doll featured was a realistic sense of her body type and her signature eye liner.
"She's a Barbie who is strong enough to wield a giant sabre and dedicated enough to spend years working her way to an Olympic medal". The name combines the words she and hero.
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"I'm excited to just partner with a brand that I know honors powerful women who are breaking barriers and whose sole goal is to impact the future leaders of tomorrow", Muhammad told People.
Honoured to have a Barbie modelled after her, Ibtihaj tweeted that she was proud that little girls everywhere now can play with a Barbie that wears hijab and said that having a doll modelled after her "is a childhood dream come true".
The hijab headscarf is worn by many Muslim women to conform with the religion's views on female modesty. "So to be in this moment, as a U.S. Olympian, to have Mattel, such a global brand, diversify their toy line to include a Barbie doll that wears a hijab is very moving to me". "My mom wanted us to play with dolls that looked like us".
Still, while there were a few critics, most commenters said they believed the doll represents a major step towards representation.
While presenting Muhammad with her Barbie, Graham reiterated the importance of this new doll: Muhammad's Barbie gives more little girls a doll in their likeness. Plus, they get to learn about fencing!
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