Mattel’s famous Barbie has been making strides in recent years to be more inclusive of its fans. From their range of curvy, tall and petite Fashionista dolls, to dolls modelled after inspiring women, we’ve come a long way from Totally Hair Barbie. Now the toy company has again looked to a real woman for inspiration. Modeled after American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the latest Shero Barbie is the first to feature the famous doll wearing a hijab.
Muhammad joins fellow ‘Sheros’ director Ava DuVernay, Prima Ballerina Misty Copeland, gymnast Gabby Douglas, as well as plus-sized model Ashley Graham, who instructed Mattel to include a larger stomach and arms and do away with Barbie’s thigh gap.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Muhammad earned a bronze medal as part of Team USA and became the first female Muslim-American athlete to medal at the Olympic games. Muhammad’s impressive showing was enough to inspire Mattel to pick Muhammad as their next Shero and once again make history, this time with a doll that speaks to Muslim adults and children around the world.
Thanking Mattel on her Instagram page, Muhammad wrote “The Barbie Shero Program recognizes women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls and I am so excited to join this incredible group of women. I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true.”
Ibtihaj Muhammad’s Shero Barbie will be available in stores starting in 2018.