Olympian-inspired Barbie is first Mattel doll to wear a hijab

Image via Getty

Image via Getty

As if being the first USA athlete to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics wasn't enough, fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad is now the inspiration behind the first-ever hijab-wearing Barbie doll. You may remember the new Barbie inspiration from when, in 2016, she became the first woman to wear a hijab during the Olympic games.

Muhammad's doll will be available for purchase in 2018.

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out", Miller said. But that wait is worth it for the all girls who will finally see themselves represented in Mattel's famous toy-just ask 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.

The doll is part of the Barbie Shero program, which creates dolls based on public figures who "break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls", Barbie said in a press release.

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Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad has been shrunk down to doll size. "When I think about my own journey, me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing, there were people who made me fee like I didn't belong", she said on her visit to the Mattel factory. "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".

The Olympian worked with Mattel to design the doll, according to People.

U.S. Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad told website Popsugar that she was detained a few weeks ago at U.S. Customs for two hours with no explanation. That's just another reason that she is a ideal choice for the Shero Barbie honor. 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.

While it's groundbreaking that Mattel is getting on board with this mission through Muhammad's doll, it still took a long time for Muslim women to be represented through Barbie. "And that's what Mattel wants-they want women who are championing their differences", Graham said. Barbie also tweeted a preview of the doll. And that's something to celebrate.

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