"I had so many moments as an athlete, where I didn't feel included, where I was often in spaces where there was a lack of representation", Muhammad said Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year gala in NY. "There has never been a Barbie doll to wear a hijab before".
Starting out in 1959 as a small-town American girl modelled on her creator Ruth Handler's own daughter, Barbie since been a fashion model, astronaut, police officer, rock star, dentist, aerobics instructor and rapper and much more. "For all those people who didn't believe in me, this Barbie doll is for you".
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"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out", said Sejal Shah Miller, Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie. It also wears a hijab, just like her, making it the first Barbie to ever wear one (Hijarbie isn't by Mattel).
Ibtihaj's doll will be available for purchase in 2018.
Mattel is set to release its first hijab-wearing barbie, inspired by US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. "I wanted (the Barbie) to have athletic toned legs for sure". It's part of the Barbie "Shero" (female hero) line, which also includes stars such as Ava DuVernay and Kristin Chenoweth. Mattel wrote. "Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries". 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. "Flawless hijab moment right here-this is incredible", she exclaimed. "My mom wanted us to play with dolls that looked like us".
"This is a childhood dream come true", she added. She found being included "very humbling".