Barbie has released a new doll inspired by the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab. Ms Muhammad, who won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Games, is also a sports ambassador and works on the US State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Initiative. “Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries,” the company said on Twitter.
Available to purchase online next autumn, the doll is part of Barbie’s “Shero” line, a collection of dolls that honour women who break boundaries. In response to the good news, Muhammad took to Twitter that she was “proud” that young people will be able to play with “a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!”
The news comes after Apple announced the introduction of the hijab emoji with their iOS 11.1 update. A move proposed by 16-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi, who was later named in Time’s 2017 30 Most Influential Teens list for her achievement.
Over the years, Barbie has diversified, championing the likes of curve model Ashley Graham, American ballet dancer fMisty Copeland and filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Let’s hope the company continues to honour phenomenal women by making Barbie even more bad ass.