The honor comes more than a year after the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, when Muhammad became the first USA athlete to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab. Muhammad's doll also marks the first time Barbie has worn a hijab, which is the traditional head covering that many Muslim women wear while in public.
The Shero line, which launched in 2015, includes dolls based on prominent women such as Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, model Ashley Graham, ballerina Misty Copeland, director Ava DuVernay and actress Zendaya. "She will play a tremendous role in ensuring that girls of the future see themselves represented fully and beautifully in our culture".
Muhammad is the latest honoree as part of Barbie Shero program that recognizes women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls. Now, the Olympian says she is elated to have a doll made to her likeness. And now she has her very own Barbie - the first to ever wear a hijab in the brand's 58-year history. She also created the clothing line, Louella, which offers a large selection of modest, fashion-forward clothes for women.
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Mohammad knows how significant this is, because like many children of color who grew up before Barbie was as diversified as it is today, it was hard to find an array of brown and black dolls. "This is a childhood dream come true". "Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype - which to me is the definition of a modern American woman", Glamour Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive, said in a statement. With a global workforce of approximately 32,000 people, Mattel operates in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations.
According to Mic, Muhammad was specifically chosen for a special release as a "shero". But in those early days, Muhammad didn't have Barbies that wore a headscarf, so she would sew on her own hijabs with her sisters.
Barbie, Muhammad, and others took to Twitter to celebrate the ground-breaking announcement.
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It is not the first time Mattel, which is now facing financial difficulties, has honored an American Olympian with a doll.
Next to her Olympic bronze medal, a plastic doll may be the greatest honor of fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad's career.
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