NEW YORK - The maker of Barbie has announced it will sell a doll modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who competed in last year's Olympics while wearing a hijab. The prototype of the doll is the United States fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who, performing in a Muslim headdress, became the bronze medalist of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
The daughter of a police detective and a teacher, Muhammad grew up with four siblings in Maplewood and discovered fencing when she was 13 years old, winning medals and accolades until she qualified for the Olympics in 2016. "Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype - which to me is the definition of a modern American woman", Glamour Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive, said in a statement.
According to Mattel's website, the line which was launched in 2015 was meant to recognise female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere.
Muhammad opened up about how much the doll means to her.
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The director/producer has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, among them actress Ellen Page and Olivia Munn . She has also described the Wonder Woman franchise as "propaganda for the new type of woman who should rule the world".
"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". Olympic athlete to compete wearing a hijab at the 2016 Rio Olympic games.
The doll will be available for purchase in 2018.
Muhammad joins an impressive roster of other "Sheroes" including Ashley Graham, Zendaya, Kristin Chenoweth, Gabby Douglas, Emmy Rossum, Trisha Yearwood, Misty Copeland and Ava DuVernay and calls the opportunity "super humbling". On Tuesday, she said being turned into a Barbie was "a childhood dream come true". Mattel is working hard to have dolls that represent different races, religions, body types, and more. "I just love it", she said. "So to be in this moment, as a U.S. Olympian, to have Mattel, such a global brand, diversify their toy line to include a Barbie doll that wears a hijab is very moving to me". "I'm also really big into eyeliner", she said.