Barbie has had her fair share of controversies over the past 57 years, but with time she has also diversified and has made leaps and bounds in terms of her career and social standing. Mattel, the multinational toy manufacturing company who owns Barbie, announced on Monday that their latest doll in their Shero collection is modelled after American Olympic Fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad.
According to Barbie, they are celebrating Muhammad not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out.
And for Muhammad, it's a dream come true and she's proud to have inspired this new addition to the Barbie family.
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
Muhammad created history at Rio's 2016 Summer Olympics when she became the first Muslim American woman to don her headscarf while competing for the US. Plus, she was also the first female Muslim athlete to win a medal at the sporting event.
People were ecstatic upon hearing the news, with Kerry Washington's positive and exciting response being the cutest:
Barbie has been working hard to make its collection of dolls more diverse in an effort to broaden the brand's appeal, notes CNN Money.
"Ibtihaj (Muhammad) is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything," Sejal Shah Miller, Barbie's vice president of global marketing, said in a statement.
One of TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People" of 2016, Muhammad also has her own clothing line, Louella. Noticing a gap in the marketplace, she designs fresh and vibrant looks for the modest fashion industry.
"Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype—which to me is the definition of a modern American woman," said Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive.
In a world where Muslim women are often ridiculed for embracing the headscarf, Ibtihaj is truly admirable for breaking boundaries and is deserving of this honour, and for Barbie, along with the release of their petite, curvy and African-American dolls, this is a significant step towards representation.
And can we just take a second to drool over Hijarbie's stylish robe? Man, does she look fierce! The doll will hit stores in 2018.
WATCH: Exclusive! The History-Making Olympic Fencer