THE maker of the world famous Barbie doll has revealed plans to sell a doll modelled on an Olympic fencer in the US who competed while wearing a hijab.
Mattel Inc. has created a doll inspired by Ibtihaj Muhammad. She became the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, and won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Games.
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.”
The doll is part of the Barbie “Shero” line that honours women who break boundaries.
Past dolls have included gymnast Gabby Douglas and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay.
Muhammad, 31, said on Twitter that she was “proud” that young people will be able to play with “a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!”
She described the doll created in her image as a “childhood dream come true.”
It is not the first time Mattel, which is currently facing financial difficulties, has honoured an American Olympian with a doll.
In 2016, the group released a Barbie inspired by gymnast Gabby Douglas, the individual all-round champion at the London 2012 Games.
Mattel’s latest announcement comes as The Wall Street Journal reports rival Hasbro plans to buy the toy manufacturer.
The new hijab-wearing Barbie doll will be on sale online from 2018, a spokeswoman told AFP.