Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad Honored with First-Ever Hijab-Wearing Barbie


by Foluké Tuakli

Ibtihaj Muhammad is no stranger to making history. In her 2016 Olympic debut with Team USA, Muhammad became the first Muslim-American athlete to compete in a hijab.

Now, she’s inspiring a new Barbie doll — the first Barbie to wear a hijab, according to Mattel.

The doll was announced at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit Monday, where Muhammad was honored as part of the “Barbie Shero” program, which recognizes female pioneers and innovators. The doll will be available in fall 2018, according to Mattel spokesperson.

Previous honorees include director Ava DuVernay, Tony Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, dancer Misty Copeland, and model Ashley Graham. The doll was made in the likeness of Muhammad, complete with a hijab, a fencing uniform, Nike shoes, helmet, and saber.

In addition to earning bronze in women’s team foil with the United States, the New Jersey native also started a modest fashion clothing line called Louella, Mattel noted.

“Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out,” Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie, said in a statement. “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.”


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