Mattel’s “Sheros” line just got a little bigger and a little more inclusive. The company has just announced that they will be releasing a doll with a hijab inspired by United States Olympian, Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Ibtihaj Muhammad has been a part of the National Fencing Team since 2010 and is currently ranked 2nd in the country and 8th in the world. Her triumph at the Olympic Games last year made her not only the first female Muslim to compete for the United States while wearing a hijab, but also the first female Muslim-American athlete to win when she took the bronze medal in Team Sabel.
Mattel says they hope their new Barbie is an “inspiration for countless little girls who never saw themselves represented in sports and culture,” and that they hope it “shows girls that they can be anything.”
Muhammad says the doll is a dream come true. The athlete took to her twitter to express her gratitude, stating, ” Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!”
Muhammad is not the first Olympian WOC that the company has honored with a doll in her likeness: Last year, gymnast Gabby Douglass, who was the all-around champion at the London 2012 Olympics also had a Barbie created after her as part of the Shero line.
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Barbies wearing hijabs will officially be able to be purchased online starting in 2018.