Fashion doll Barbie has broken the norm by releasing a new line of dolls that showcase different shapes, sizes, colors and nationalities. In fact, the latest doll from Mattel's "Shero" program is a hijab-wearing doll modeled after American-Muslim Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad.
Muhammad made headlines as the first American athlete to wear a head scarf during the Olympics, according to the New York Post. As a woman who used to play with Barbie dolls, Muhammad said it was a real treat to have a doll that looks just like her and wears the same clothes as she does. She said her relationship with Barbie has finally come "full circle" and she is hoping the next generation of girls can use it to play out their own dreams.
The Olympian was so touched by the distinction given by Barbie that she posted about it on her Instagram page (@ibtihajmuhammad).
"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," she said. "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."
The doll was presented by Glamour magazine during Monday's Women of the Year summit in New York City. "Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype — which to me is the definition of a modern American woman," Glamour's Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Barbie's vice president for marketing, Sejal Shah Miller, said that they created the doll for several reasons. It wasn't just because they are celebrating Muhammad's accolades as an Olympian, but also because they are celebrating what makes her stand out.
"Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented. By honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything," she said.