Mattel unveils first Barbie to wear a hijab

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Ibtihaj Muhammad made history in Rio a year ago as the first U.S. Olympian to represent her country wearing a hijab, after earlier winning a gold medal in 2014 at the world fencing championships in Russian Federation.

Ms Muhammad, part of the USA fencing team and the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Games.

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". "Perfect hijab moment right here, this is unbelievable".

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.

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.

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During the ceremony, where the doll was first unveiled to the general public, Muhammad recalled her childhood and said that she wanted her Barbie dolls to look like her and wear the hijab. This is for the first time in the brand's 58-year history that a Barbie is wearing a hijab.

Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie said, "Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out". Handler said she wanted to create a doll that would inspire young girls to be anything they wanted to be.

"Today I'm proud to know that little girls who wear hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don't can play with a Barbie who chooses to wear a headscarf", she said.

Inspiring, right? Mattel, the toymaker behind Barbie dolls, thought so too. "I know that as an athlete I have larger legs - these strong legs that we use, especially fencers, to propel ourselves into lunges - and it was important for me to have my doll be as close to my likeness as possible".

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