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In 2016, Ibtihaj Muhammad became the first American Olympian to wear a headscarf while competing. Muhammad also became the first Muslim American woman to win an Olympic medal, taking a bronze in team saber last year. And as such the toymaker decided to model a doll after her.
The doll which is part of the toymaker’s “Sheroes” collection, is dressed in fencing gear as well as the hijab to look just like Ibtihaj. It will be on sale online from 2018, a spokeswoman told AFP.
“We are so excited to honor @IbtihajMuhammad with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll! Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries,” The Barbie makers wrote on social media, accompanied by a photo of Muhammad holding the doll.
On its website, Mattel said the new Barbie is “inspiration for countless little girls who never saw themselves represented in sports and culture,” adding it hopes the doll “shows girls they can be anything.”
Meanwhile, 31-year-old Ibtihaj Muhammad described Mattel’s honoring of her achievements as “very moving” and a “childhood dream come true.”
She tweeted: “Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie Shero family! I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!”