Former Duke University fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, will be honored with a Barbie doll created in her likeness by toy maker Mattel.
The first hijab-wearing Barbie will be available in 2018, Mattel announced on its website. The doll will be the latest in the Barbie Shero collection of “female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere,” according to Mattel.
Muhammad’s presence on the U.S. Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016 “gave her a megaphone, and she has used it wisely to promote sports and tolerance,” Charlotte Observer sports columnist Scott Fowler wrote from the Games.
“A lot of people don’t believe that Muslim women have voices, or that we participate in sports,” Muhammad said, according to Fowler’s report. “I want to challenge the misconceptions not only outside the Muslim community, but also within the Muslim community. … I want to show girls it is important to be involved in sports and to lead an active lifestyle.”
Of its doll honoring Ibtihaj Muhammad, Mattel said: “As an inspiration for countless little girls who never saw themselves represented in sports and culture, we hope this doll shows girls they can be anything.”