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Olympian fencer inspires Barbie's first hijab-wearing doll

15 November 2017

"This is a childhood dream come true", she added.

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.

This year, the brand selected USA fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab. The doll wears a fencing outfit and hijab - a first for Barbie.

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"I don't know if you can tell, but I'm so excited!"

The Barbie "Shero" line includes dolls inspired by director Ava DuVernay, actress Zendaya and gymnast Gabby Douglas. Last year, Mattel modeled a doll after Ashley Graham to "celebrate her pushing boundaries within the fashion industry and promoting the messages of body positivity".

"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", the 31-year-old New Jersey native said.

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Clad in fencing gear and a head scarf, the doll was unveiled at Glamour's Women of the Year summit.

Muhammad said she is excited to see this first of its kind doll and believes that the girls who shop for these dolls may look up to them. The one-of-a-kind doll made in Muhammad's likeness was unveiled at Glamour's Women of the Year Live Summit Monday, as the latest doll in Barbie's "Shero" line, or female heroes, a program that celebrates women meant to inspire the next generation. She wanted the Barbie doll to reflect that.

"I think that having strong legs helped me win a medal at the Olympic Games, so I wanted my legs to be larger, more athletic legs, toned legs. I'm also really big into eyeliner", she said. Announcing a new doll, the company just unveiled its latest product, the Hijab-wearing doll as part of its annual Shero program. This week, Mattel introduced the first Barbie doll to wear a hijab.

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Olympian fencer inspires Barbie's first hijab-wearing doll