Barbie's Newest Model is Olympic Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad

US Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad holds the first hijab-wearing Barbie doll

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. In 2016, she became the first American athlete to compete while wearing a Hijab.

In 2018, Barbie will wear a hijab-and young Muslim girls will finally see themselves represented in the iconic doll.

Muhammad, a sabre fencer, has a rich history with the famous doll dating back to childhood.

The doll is being created for Mattel's "Shero" Barbie line, which honors women who break boundaries and expand the possibilities for women everywhere, according to Mattel.

"Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become", said Ibtihaj Muhammad. I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle.

"Today I'm proud to know that little girls who wear a hijab, and just as powerfully, those that don't, can play with a Barbie in a headscarf", Ibtihaj tells Teen Vogue.

The "Shero" line already includes dolls designed after Ashley Graham, Zendaya, Kristin Chenoweth, Emmy Rossum, Misty Copeland and Ava DuVernay. "So my Barbie having strong legs was really important to me", Muhammad says. The dolls aren't for sale, but with more than 79,000 Instagram followers, they clearly represent a market for Mattel.

The Barbie of the new millennium provides a more accurate depiction of the shapes and sizes of real women, as well as depicting women of color who exist beyond the white, blonde archetype.

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out", said Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie. "Now Mattel is doing it for us", she added.

Glamour called Muhammad "a modern American woman" for her ability to challenge multiple stereotypes in her life. That's just another reason that she is a ideal choice for the Shero Barbie honor.

Prior to Muhammad's doll, the option of dressing Barbies in hijabs were scant.

The brand may have drawn inspiration from the Instagram account @Hijarbie, the "mini hijab fashion" blog that shows hijab-wearing dolls of all kinds of race and style.

The moment Ibtihaj Muhammad stepped onto the Olympic scene with her hijab, she was a force to be reckoned with. And that's something to celebrate.

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