It's safe to say Muhammad has a career tons of girls aspire to: She challenged stereotypes when she became the first Olympian from the U.S.to compete while wearing a hijab, was one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" of 2016, and recently launched the clothing line, Louella.
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.
The moment Ibtihaj Muhammad stepped onto the Olympic scene with her hijab, she was a force to be reckoned with. "I know that as an athlete I have larger legs - these strong legs that we use, especially fencers, to propel ourselves into lunges - and it was important for me to have my doll be as close to my likeness as possible. I wore it to the Olympic games, so I wanted my Barbie to have the ideal winged liner and also to wear a hijab".
The doll is part of the "She-ro" line. Now, she's making history again as the inspiration behind the first hijab-wearing Barbie.
The athlete expressed her delight that children who wear headscarves themselves can play with a doll that look like them. "To have Barbie be the first big company to have a doll in hijab is really cool and groundbreaking".
"One of four girls, I played with Barbies until I was about 15, so it's hard to explain how excited I am", Muhammad says. In the Qur'an, the term "hijab" refers to a partition or curtain in the literal or metaphorical sense. "When I think about my own journey, me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing, there were people who made me fee like I didn't belong", she said on her visit to the Mattel factory. The dolls aren't for sale, but with more than 79,000 Instagram followers, they clearly represent a market for Mattel. "I feel very proud and good about working with a brand that honors not just powerful women and women of color, but also a brand that honors women who are working to impact the global community, not just today but also in the future". She found being included "very humbling".