The Olympic’s barbie clearly reflects her Islamic faith.
Muhammad is a 31-year-old fencer who gained recognition as the first Muslim-American woman to wear the hijab at the 2016 Summer Olympics. She also won the bronze for sabre fencing that same year.
Little wonder Mattel, the toy company that manufactures Barbie dolls, is making one after her.
The company announced the news on Monday, November 13, 2017, at an unveiling ceremony at Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year summit.
On Twitter, the company wrote, “Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries.”
In a press release, Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie Sejal Shah Miller said, “Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian but for embracing what makes her stand out.
“Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything.”
The Olympic fencer responded with a heartfelt message across her social media platforms.
On Instagram, she said, “Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie Shero family! 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 #shero”
Speaking with Huffington Post, she said, “It’s a very humbling experience to even be in the same sentence with these women. I feel very proud and good about working with a brand that honours not just powerful women and women of colour, but also a brand that honours women who are working to impact the global community, not just today but also in the future.”
This latest Barbie is receiving a lot of love from social media users.
Law professor and commentator Khaled Beydoun wrote, “Shout out to @Mattel for making the Ibtihaj Muhammad “Shero” doll.”
“We now finally have in 2017 a hijab-wearing @Barbie with the last name Muhammad … Say it again for the People in the back: REPRESENTATION MATTERS,” said Qasim Rashid, a human rights activist.
Ibtihaj Muhammad’s doll joins those of powerful women like Ava DuVernay, Gabby Douglas and Misty Copeland, all in Barbie’s “Shero” line.
Barbie’s first hijab-wearing doll will be released in 2018.