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Olympian fencer inspires Barbie's first hijab-wearing doll

15 November 2017
Olympian fencer inspires Barbie's first hijab-wearing doll

Barbie is now donning the hijab!

Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made history in 2016 when she became the first member of the U.S. Olympic team to compete in hijab.

Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first American Muslim woman to win a bronze medal in sabre fencing in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

"Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented", Barbie's marketing vice president Sejal Shah Miller said in a statement.

While on stage at the Glamour's Women Of The Year event, Muhammad and Graham compared their dolls' thick legs - which differ from the traditional appearance of Barbie dolls' slender frames.

Attached to the tweet was a photo of Ibtihaj holding onto her miniature figure. The inspirational and boundary-breaking women, who inspired such dolls, include Ashley Graham, Zendaya, Kristin Chenoweth, Gabby Douglas, Emmy Rossum, Trisha Yearwood, Misty Copeland and Ava DuVernay. Mattel wrote. "Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries".

The doll was unveiled at Glamour's Women of the Year summit in New York City.

"Today I'm proud to know that little girls who wear hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don't can play with a Barbie who chooses to wear a headscarf", she said.

Muhammad is not the first woman to have a Barbie doll made in her image, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Mattel say the doll will be available to buy next year. "This is a childhood dream come true", the Olympian posted on Twitter late Monday. This week, Mattel introduced the first Barbie doll to wear a hijab. Mattel is working hard to have dolls that represent different races, religions, body types, and more. It's a feat she described on Monday, when the doll was unveiled, as "amazing".

As Muhammad notes to People, "It's cool to have Muslim girls in the conversation, to have African Americans as fencers is also really cool".