I'm really excited to have this moment happen in my life and also for all these little girls now who can shop for [a] Barbie doll that may look [like] them, may wear a hijab like they do, or like their mom does, or like a friend does.
"Last year, she was the first athlete from the U.S to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, and today we are thrilled to celebrate Ibtihaj as the first hijab-wearing Barbie", said Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive. "I wore it to the Olympic games, so I wanted my Barbie to have the ideal winged liner and also to wear a hijab".
It is not the first time Mattel, which is now facing financial difficulties, has honored an American Olympian with a doll. The dolls aren't for sale, but with more than 79,000 Instagram followers, they clearly represent a market for Mattel.
Ibtihaj Muhammad visited the Mattel factory when the doll was being designed, but the Glamour Women of the Year event was the first time that she had seen the doll as a finished product and she could barely contain her excitement. Mattel has made many inclusive additions to its lineup in recent years, such as body-positive Barbie and Ken dolls and the aptly named "Shero" dolls, which pay homage to some fantastic RL women including Gabby Douglas, Trisha Yearwood, and Ava DuVernay.
Next to her Olympic bronze medal, a plastic doll may be the greatest honor of fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad's career. Like Graham before her, Muhammad made sure the doll represented her in body shape and in her makeup. She found being included "very humbling". She also described her experience growing up and playing with Barbies herself.
Barbie, Muhammad, and others took to Twitter to celebrate the ground-breaking announcement.
Muhammad's face lit up when she saw her Barbie replica, identical to her down to the fencing uniform and white hijab.
Something that she made sure her doll featured was a realistic sense of her body type and her signature eye liner. That's just another reason that she is a ideal choice for the Shero Barbie honor.
Unfortunately though, if you were looking to get this particular Barbie for your child this Christmas, they'll have to wait until the next holiday season. "I feel like we're just shattering all the little glass ceilings here".