First hijab-wearing Barbie inspired by this Olympic champ

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PROGRESS: Ibtihaj Muhammad with her Mattel Barbie doll (Photo credit: Getty Images)

THE FIRST Barbie doll to wear a hijab has been revealed and was inspired by the first US athlete to wear the garment at the Olympics.

The doll, modelled on 31-year-old Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, is part of the ‘Shero’ line of Barbies that honours women who break boundaries. However it will not be on sale until next autumn.

Previous dolls in the line have included Selma director Ava Duvernay and gymnast Gabby Douglas.

The doll based on Muhammad is the first one to be designed with a headscarf in Barbie’s 58 year history, showing a progressive change for the brand.

The 2016 Olympic fencer unveiled the doll Mattel made in her honour in New York on Monday (Nov 13)

“It’s so cool to see myself in this little doll form with my fencing uniform on,” she told People Magazine. “It says my name on the back and it has a fencing mask and the little sabre. I just love it.”


PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images for Glamour

“I think its revolutionary for Barbie to take a stand in this moment that we’re in—and I would say, as a country, to have a doll wear a hijab and be the first of its kind,” she added. “There has never been a Barbie doll to wear a hijab before. I’m really excited to have this moment happen in my life and also for all these little girls now who can shop for Barbie doll that may look them, may wear a hijab like they do, or like their mom does, or like a friend does.

“But also have kids who aren’t Muslim, who don’t wear a hijab, to also have the opportunity to play with a doll that wears a hijab.”


PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images for Glamour

Muhammad also noted that she wanted to create a doll similar to her figure. “I know that as an athlete I have larger legs—these strong legs that we use, especially fencers, to propel ourselves into lunges—and it was important for me to have my doll be as close to my likeness as possible. So I wanted to have athletic toned legs for sure.”

Her doll will be available for sale in the fall of 2018.

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