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New hijab-wearing Barbie inspired by Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad coming soon

14 November 2017

"I think it's 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", Muhammed told People. You may remember the new Barbie inspiration from when, in 2016, she became the first woman to wear a hijab during the Olympic games.

Though Muslim women will no doubt be elated to have an official hijab-wearing Barbie, hijab-wearing women haven't been waiting for Mattel to include them in official Barbie fashions. But in those early days, Muhammad didn't have Barbies that wore a headscarf, so she would sew on her own hijabs with her sisters.

The new Barbie's outfit was modelled on Muhammad's fencing uniform, complete with helmet and tiny sabre.

"Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become", said Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Ibtihaj, who was also named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People" a year ago, is the most recent honoree of the Barbie "Shero" program, which celebrates women who push through and challenge boundaries in their fields. Last year's "shero", Ashley Graham, presented Muhammad with the award at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit, and the doll will be available for purchase in 2018. Mattel posted. "Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries".

The doll was presented to Muhammad, who was named one of TIME's Most Influential People in 2016, by model Ashley Graham on November 13 at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit. "She also needed to have the flawless winged eyeliner because it's one of the things that makes me feel great-it's my shield of power".

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The move comes after Mattel introduced three body types this year for its Ken dolls - slim, broad, or original - and seven skin tones, and nine hairstyles including the man bun in an effort to reach a more diverse audience.

Ibtihaj made sure her doll wears her signature eyeliner, which she likes to wear while competing as well as while running errands, and had a realistic body shape. The doll will be the very first Barbie doll to wear a hijab and the event is considered to be historic.