Modelled on Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Words by

Nikki Escalante

In a historic moment, Mattel has announced its very first hijab-wearing Barbie doll.

It’s a beautiful move to embrace diversity, honouring Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the first American to compete in the games wearing the headscarf.

The Shero doll, modelled after the bronze medallist, proudly sports the all-white hijab and fencing gear.

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

Barbie’s Sheros series was first unveiled in 2015 and includes a lineup of dolls representing real women. The aim is to inspire young girls to break boundaries.

The Ibtihaj release now joins a line up of female directors, activists and other sportswomen. It follows on from Barbie's rollout of tall, petite and curvy versions of the original doll. 

Ibtihaj fans can purchase the new Barbie from early 2018.


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