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ibtihaj muhammad barbie hijab sheroes collection

Mattel has released a hijab-wearing Barbie

The doll is part of the ‘Sheroes’ collection, inspired by groundbreaking women

For a doll, Barbie has a controversial history. For years, there have been complaints that she enforces unrealistic body goals (if she were life-sized she wouldn’t be able to stand up) and often oversexualised. In a step towards inclusivity, a new hijab-wearing version of the doll has been released.

Inspired by Ibtihaj Muhammad – a hijab-wearing, Bronze medal-winning Olympic fencer – the doll will be part the ‘Sheroes’ collection inspired by groundbreaking women. “When I think about my own journey, me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing, there were people who made me feel like I didn't belong,” Muhammad said. While this is the first official hijab-wearing Barbie, you might remember the ‘Hijarbie’ created last year by a 24-year-old blogger and medical scientist from Nigeria. 

The collection has previously included dolls inspired by Selma director Ava DuVernay and model Ashley Graham, as well as the first African-American principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre Misty Copeland. Muhammad’s doll will be available next year, replacing the one currently on sale inspired by Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.

The collection of diverse dolls perfectly compliments the join the body positive Barbie which landed the cover of Time back in 2016, as well as the new collection of Ken dolls that were released earlier this year. In addition to the three different body types and five different ethnicities, there was even one with a man bun.