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Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad inspires first hijab-wearing Barbie doll

Toymaker Mattel is celebrating Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad by creating and selling a Barbie doll in her likeness. Muhammad emerged on the world stage for her swordsmanship and accolades as the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab.
The doll was unveiled at the Glamour Women of the Year Live Summit, an annual event that gives young women the opportunity to hear from select past and present Women of the Year honourees, as well as other influential leaders from a variety of fields, in Brooklyn, New York on 13 November 2017.

Inspiring the next generation

Muhammad is the latest honouree as part of Barbie Shero programme that recognizes women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls. She was presented this doll by last year’s Shero, body activist and model, Ashley Graham.

“Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become,” said Muhammad. “I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle, and now I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams.”

One of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People' of 2016, Muhammad not only breaks boundaries with her swordsmanship, but with the launch of her clothing line, Louella. Noticing a gap in the marketplace, Muhammad designs fresh and vibrant looks for the modest fashion industry.

"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. "Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honouring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything."

The doll will be available for purchase in 2018.
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