In her 50+ years on earth, Barbie has sported a number of different outfits. But, never before has she donned a hijab. Until now.
Earlier this week, Mattel, the makers of Barbie, revealed their latest Barbie to hit the shelves in 2018 will wear a hijab.
The doll is part of the Barbie’ “Shero” collection, which, I think is kind of like a “she hero”. Modelled after Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Games while wearing a hijab, the doll is sure to be a hit for all aspiring champions out there.
In addition to a white hijab, the doll will also don the traditional white fencing outfit. She even comes with her own kick-ass fencing sword. Best. Accessory. Ever.
Beyond the blonde hair
The latest “Shero” collection doll is clearly a step in the right direction when it comes to promoting multiculturalism and diversity. And one that Muhammad is more than proud to be a part of.
Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! 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 😭💘 #shero pic.twitter.com/py7nbtb2KD
— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) November 13, 2017
“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,” Muhammad wrote on Twitter.
She tells reporters she is especially proud of the new doll’s athletic build – a world away from the twiggy-legged Barbies of old.
“I know that as an athlete I have larger legs — these strong legs that we use, especially fencers, to propel ourselves into lunges — and it was important for me to have my doll be as close to my likeness as possible. So I wanted to have athletic toned legs for sure. I’m also really big to into eyeliner,” Muhammad told People.
“I like to think of my eyeliner as a shield of power; I not only wear it to the grocery store but I also wear it to compete. I wore it to the Olympic games, so I wanted my Barbie to have the perfect winged liner and also to wear a hijab.
“There has never been a Barbie doll to wear a hijab before. I’m really excited to have this moment happen in my life and also for all these little girls now who can shop for Barbie doll that may look them, may wear a hijab like they do, or like their mom does, or like a friend does.”
There are a number of other dolls already in the “Shero” collection, that gets its doll inspiration from prominent women. The collection also includes dolls modelled after Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas (above), model Ashley Graham, ballerina Misty Copeland, director Ava DuVernay and actress Zendaya.
Although Barbie still comes in her blonde, skinny guise, Mattel have gone to great lengths to make Barbie more of a role model for young children (and less like an advertisement for plastic surgery).
No word yet on whether the newest Barbie will make it onto Aussie shelves, but check out our previous articles on the evolution of Barbie including Barbie’s latest career changes and her new look (with more curves and less heel).