One of the inspiring women who made history in 2016 is Ibtihaj Muhammad. She is an Olympic Fencer who was the first member to compete in the US Olympic team in hijab. She apparently doesn’t stop creating another history since she joined Mattel to create a Barbie modeled that looks like her.
That team up between Ibtihaj Muhammad and Mattel was more than special. This Barbie design is the first-ever Barbie that wears hijab. It shows an essential win for representation and inclusivity.
The Barbie in Hijab Surprised the US Olympic Fencer
Ibtihaj Muhammad was very surprise with the final Barbie look when she saw her doll the first time. She saw it at Glamour Women of the Year Summit 2018. That was the moment of truth after she visited the factory of Mattel to discuss the design process. Ashely Graham was the one who helped the audiences introduce the new doll. She already had her own Barbie in the same event last year. The audiences including Ibtihaj Muhammad were blown away by the Barbie in hijab.
The face of Ibtihaj Muhammad was radiant when she looked at her replica form in a Barbie that looks like her. The doll wears white hijab and fencing uniform. She exclaimed that her feeling was more than excited. It was the perfect hijab moment and an amazing collaboration between her and Mattel in producing the first-ever Barbie in hijab.
The audiences listened carefully when Ibtihaj Muhammad delivered her speech. Her face turned serious while she was recollecting her childhood memories plating with Barbie and how she hoped for one which had similarities like her. She also made everybody laughed when she shared her experience playing with a Barbie for a long time and people sometimes find her odd.
The Moment Ibtihaj Muhammad Sew a Scarf for Her Barbie
At that time there wasn’t any Barbie which wore a headscarf. That was the moment when Ibtihaj Muhammad has an idea to sew one with her beloved sister. Her inspiring winning in Olympic also becomes a huge history for Mattel that wanted to recreate her in a Barbie. She trusted Mattel to do their job since this successful company has made hundreds of models that were inspired by amazing women.
The Message behind This First-Ever-Barbie in Hijab
This hijab Barbie will also be a message to make a difference. This doll can be an inspiration for young girls to embrace themselves wholeheartedly and things that make them one-of-a-kind. Every girl who has and plays with this doll will also have the same imagination as Ibtihaj Muhammad that who knows someday there will be another Barbie creation that represents her.
Ashley Graham reiterated the importance of the doll while she was introducing the Olympic fencer with her Barbie. Ibtihaj Muhammad was so proud with what Mattel did so far. Since there are a lot of types of Barbie that represents different woman.
It was also an amazing journey of her to inspire a lot of women out there to embrace what makes them stand out. She also shared her bitter experience when they were a lot of people made her feel like she didn’t belong to the sport of fencing especially being a Muslim girl in hijab. She closed her speech by saying: “For everybody who doubted me, look at this Barbie doll.”