Mattel is capturing the attention of many worldwide after releasing its first Barbie to wear a headscarf. The company made the doll in honor of Olympic Bronze medalist and sabre competitor Ibtihaj Muhammad, who wore her hijab at the Rio Olympic games in 2016, reports People.
The Barbie is part of Mattel’s “Shero” line dedicated to inspirational women, such as Misty Copeland, Emmy Rossum Ava DuVernay, Ashley Graham and Gabby Douglas.
Muhammad, who hosted the doll’s debut, says she is excited about the Barbie.
“I think it’s revolutionary for Barbie to take a stand in this moment that we’re in — and I would say, as a country, to have a doll wear a hijab and be the first of its kind,” Muhammad added. “There has never been a Barbie doll to wear a hijab before. I’m really excited to have this moment happen in my life and also for all these little girls now who can shop for Barbie doll that may look like them, may wear a hijab like they do, or like their mom does, or like a friend does.”
She’s not the only one with big hopes for the doll. Glamour editor-in-chief Cindi Leive expressed similar sentiments.
“Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype — which to me is the definition of a modern American woman,” she said. “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. She will play a tremendous role in ensuring that girls of the future see themselves represented fully and beautifully in our culture.”
The new Barbie will be on sale to the public in the fall of 2018.
While many are thrilled about the new doll, some are less than impressed.
“Very odd that a symbol of female oppression is being called revolutionary,” wrote one person in Daily Mail’s comments section.
“PC as usual,” said another.
“I bet sales will really be off the chart for that one,” added a third.
“The libs are lining up now,” agreed a fourth. “Great Festivis gift.”
Some even thought the Barbie reflected a double standard: “I’ll guarantee you will never see a Barbie wearing a cross or carrying a Bible though.”
Still, while there were a few critics, most commenters said they believed the doll represents a major step towards representation.
“That’s awesome,” commented one such reader. “Dolls need to be diverse to represent EVERYONE, not just the blond girl.”
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