There is now a hijab-wearing Barbie for the first time ever

Mattel is set to release its first hijab-wearing barbie, inspired by US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

"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", Muhammad said. "Perfect hijab moment right here, this is unbelievable".

The doll is part of the Barbie "Shero" line that honours women who break boundaries. Ava Duvernay, Emmy Rossum, Gabby Douglas and Misty Copeland also have dolls modelled off them.

The doll was unveiled during Glamour's Woman of the Year live summit in Brooklyn, New York, where the Olympian was present on the stage.

Muhammad said that, during her childhood in New Jersey, she would make hijabs out of tissues to put on the heads of her Barbie dolls.

The Barbie unveiling represents another mainstreaming of the hijab, a broad term for Islamic modesty standards for women in how they dress.

The Barbie makers hope that the doll inspires girls like the real-life fencer, said Sejai Shah Miller, Barbie's vice president of global marketing.

The doll will be available to purchase in 2018.

On its website, Mattel writes that the new Ibtihaj Muhammad doll serves as "an inspiration for countless little girls who never saw themselves represented in sports and culture".

The first Barbie was created in 1959 by Handler, after Ruth watched her daughter play with paper dolls. "To be included in this conversation is very humbling and I'm over the moon about this whole thing".

Image is important, and recently we've seen many brands making a conscious effort to diversify their imagery for an ever changing consumer base. "I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle, and now I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams".

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