November 19, 2017

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Barbie Heads Into New Ground With Hijab-Sporting Doll

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Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad holds a hijab-wearing “Barbie Shero” in her likeness at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards on Monday. Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP hide caption

toggle caption Evan Agostini/Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Mattel unveiled its first hijab-wearing Barbie doll on Monday, modeled after fencer Ibtihaj Muhammed, who has broken ground herself as the first U.S. Olympic athlete to compete in the head scarf.

“Perfect hijab moment right here, this is amazing,” Muhammed said as she beheld the doll for the first time at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit, her likeness clad in a white fencing uniform and clutching a sword and helmet.

Muhammed said she played with Barbies until she was a teenager, but none of the dolls looked like her, so she resorted to sewing mini hijabs onto them. Now she is hoping the new doll inspires other girls “to embrace what makes them unique.”

In an interview with ESPNW, Muhammed, 31, said, “I feel like I’ve always embraced being ‘different’ in respect to breaking boundaries, being an African-American Muslim woman in the sport of fencing.”

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