Mattel introduces new Barbie with hijab (pictures and videos)

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As part of their new “Shero” collection, Barbie will wear a hijab for the first time.

Mattel, the makers of the Barbie brand, announced Monday that the latest Shero doll will be modeled after Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who became the first American to compete wearing a hijab in 2016.

“I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true,” Muhammad said in a tweet (see below).

Over the past few years, Mattel has introduced several new Barbie lines, including Fashionista Barbies that come in different body styles, including petite, tall, and curvy.

The Shero line is based on women with inspiring stories. They have included:

  • Misty Copeland Barbie, which honored the ballet dancer’s request to “really reflect a dancer’s body and also not shy away from the fact that I have muscular calves, hips, a bust, and brown skin.”
  • A plus-size Barbie, styled after fashion model Ashley Graham, which featured belly fat, round arms, and touching thighs.
  • The Ava DuVernay Barbie, based on the director of the Academy Award-nominated film “Selma,” which has long dreadlocks and became a best seller.
  • Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, which came with a stars-and-stripes leotard and pink and black Nike warmups.

The company also introduced a new line of Ken dolls earlier this year, making the male doll available in three body types and seven skin tones.

Despite its efforts at diversity, Mattel said Barbie sales were down 6% in its most recent quarter compared to last year.

Sejal Shah Miller, Barbie’s vice president of global marketing, said with the new Ibtihaj doll, Mattel hopes to reach out to a new demographic. “Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything,” she said.

According to an announcement made during Glamour’s Women of the Year summit, the doll will hit shelves in 2018.

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