America’s first hijab-wearing Olympian, Ibtihaj Muhammad, is now getting another first. Mattel has announced a new Barbie doll modeled after her. It, too, will be the first Barbie to ever don a hijab.
As a part of Barbie’s “She-ro” line, Mattel boasts that it is “break[ing] boundaries” for “women and girls everywhere” with the new doll honoring Muhammad and her accomplishments in the sport of fencing. The company and the athlete took to Twitter in celebration:
Before the election last year, Muhammad criticized Donald Trump, saying “his words are very dangerous." Her high-profile media presence gave her a platform to try and “change the rhetoric around how people think and perceive the Muslim community.”
Earlier this year, Muhammad was the bearer of fake news when she said she had been detained under the President Trump’s Muslim travel ban. She had said:
“I personally was held at Customs for two hours just a few weeks ago. I don't know why. I can't tell you why it happened to me, but I know that I'm Muslim. I have an Arabic name. And even though I represent Team USA and I have that Olympic hardware, it doesn't change how you look and how people perceive you.
“Unfortunately, I know that people talk about this having a lot to do with these seven countries in particular, but I think the net is cast a little bit wider than we know. And I'm included in that as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab.”
It wasn't long before Muhammad’s claim was quickly busted when it was discovered that she had actually been detained under Barack Obama. Oops!
But hey, now girls everywhere can recreate that lie in their play rooms every day! Thanks for the opportunity, Mattel!