First Hijab-Wearing Barbie Honors Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

By Sameer Rao Nov 14, 2017

U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad debuted her new Barbie doll—the first ever adorned in a hijab—at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit last night (November 13).


Glamour magazine reports that Muhammad collaborated with dolls manufacturer Mattel to develop the Barbie as part of its Shero line. The collection features dolls based on Ava DuVernay, Zendaya, Misty Copeland and other prominent women across various industries. One such woman, model Ashley Graham, unveiled Muhammad’s doll alongside the fencer while on stage at the summit.

The video below depicts the design process and the first time Muhammad saw the completed doll, which was at the summit: 

The doll depicts Muhammad in a white hijab and fencing uniform while holding a replica saber. She explained from the stage that she and her sisters played with Barbie dolls of color and sewed hijabs onto their heads to better represent their reality.

"This is the way we could see and celebrate our beauty for our brown skin, even as conventional standards of beauty [that] we saw in the media ran counter to that," said Muhammad, who is Black. "I hope that little girls of color across the heartland will be inspired [by this new doll] to embrace what makes them unique."

CNN Money reports that the doll will released for purchase in 2018.