NJ Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad inspires first hijab-wearing Barbie

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

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

She also became the first Muslim American woman to win an Olympic medal.

The manufacturer of the Barbie doll has revealed its latest figurine is inspired by Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who competed in last year's Olympics while wearing a hijab. "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".

The doll is created as part of Mattel's Shero Barbie line which honours "female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere".

"I can't believe this is happening honestly", Muhammad told HuffPost.

Other prominent women who were honoured through the "Sheroes" line include Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, model Ashley Graham, ballerina Misty Copeland, director Ava DuVernay and actress Zendaya.

Mattel says the newest Barbie will be available for purchase in 2018.

Ibtihaj described the taunting and body shaming she faced as an athlete and how the doll captured the things which make her so different and so special.

The daughter of a police detective and a teacher, Muhammad grew up with four siblings in Maplewood and discovered fencing when she was 13 years old, winning medals and accolades until she qualified for the Olympics in 2016.

"I had so many moments as an athlete, where I didn't feel included, where I was often in spaces where there was a lack of representation", Muhammad said Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year gala in NY.

Something that she made sure her doll featured was a realistic sense of her body type and her signature eye liner. It's a feat she described on Monday, when the doll was unveiled, as "amazing". "I feel very proud and good about working with a brand that honors not just powerful women and women of color, but also a brand that honors women who are working to impact the global community, not just today but also in the future". This week, Mattel introduced the first Barbie doll to wear a hijab.

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