First Hijab-Wearing Barbie Based On Olympic Fencer

Kickin it Ashley Graham hammed it up as she posed at the Glamour Celebrates 2017 Women Of The Year Live Summit at New York's Brooklyn Museum on Monday

"Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become", said Ibtihaj Muhammad.

The face of the doll has been modelled on Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won a bronze medal in Rio a year ago.

Muhammad is a sabre fencer and was the first American Olympic athlete to compete in an event while wearing a hijab when she participated in the 2016 Olympics in Rio. "So I only had brown Barbie dolls growing up and I think that was an effort made by my parents to see us reflected in the dolls we played with". Mattel wrote. "Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries". "I don't know if you can tell, but I'm so excited!" she exclaimed.

The Barbie "Shero" line includes dolls inspired by director Ava DuVernay, actress Zendaya and gymnast Gabby Douglas. The fencer said that she, along with her sisters, used to sow Muslim headdresses for their dolls.

The unveiling of the latest Barbie Shero was made at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year LIVE Summit and the doll will go on sale in 2018. She wanted the Barbie doll to reflect that.

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"She's a Barbie who is strong enough to wield a giant sabre and dedicated enough to spend years working her way to an Olympic medal".

For Muhammad, it was not only important for the doll to have her hijab, but also for it to share her likeness and have her body type.

Ms Muhammad is also a sports ambassador and works on the US State Department's Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport Initiative.

Forever a child's favourite toy to play with, Barbie is now making waves as it makes history one doll at a time.

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out", says Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie. "I want to challenge the misconceptions not only outside the Muslim community, but also within the Muslim community. I feel like we're just shattering all the little glass ceilings here".

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