In the last few years, international toy company Mattel has been working hard at pushing the boundaries of inclusiveness through their iconic products, especially Barbie.
Last year, for the first time in 55 years, the company released tall, petite and curvy variations of their best-selling doll in seven new skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles, and a wide range of clothes and accessories.
The introduction of these diverse dolls was preceded by the "Sheroes" line, which features one-of-a-kind custom dolls honoring inspiring women who continue to break boundaries. So far they have created dolls in the likeness of Trisha Yearwood, Ava DuVernay, Misty Copeland, Kristin Chenoweth, plus size model Ashley Graham, and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas.
This week, Barbie announced that they have added another strong woman to their lineup, and it is their first hijab-wearing doll.
Mattel unveiled the doll modeled after American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete and win a medal in the Olympics while wearing a hijab, at Glamour's Women of the Year summit in New York City.
"Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype — which to me is the definition of a modern American woman," Glamour Editor-in-Chief, Cindi Leive, said in a statement.
The history-making Olympian was over the moon when she was presented with the doll at the event.
"I don't know if you can tell, but I'm so excited!" she exclaimed. "Perfect hijab moment right here—this is amazing."
She later took to Twitter to express her excitement once again, she wrote: "Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! I'm proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear [a] hijab! This is a childhood dream come true."
Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! 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 😭💘 #shero pic.twitter.com/py7nbtb2KD— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) November 13, 2017
Barbie echoed Ibtihaj's words in a statement on their website introducing the doll.
"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," read the statement.
The Ibtihaj doll will be available for purchase in 2018, although Mattel has yet to announce a date. The Barbie will come in full fencing uniform with a sword.