Muhammad, who ranked among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2016 and has gone on to start a line of clothing, Louella, for the modest fashion industry, said the new doll means the fulfillment of a childhood dream. Now that Mattel has made a doll for girls like her, Muhammad knows it will make a difference: "I hope that little girls of color across the heartland will be inspired to embrace what makes them unique", she said of girls who will play with this Barbie.
Now, Muhammad is the face of the first hijab-wearing Barbie doll. But this is more than a special-edition doll: It's the first-ever Barbie to wear a hijab, which makes it a crucial win for inclusivity and representation. Now, the Olympian says she is elated to have a doll made to her likeness.
The athlete worked with Mattel every step of the way in the design process and says her resemblance to the doll is uncanny.
The daughter of a police detective and a teacher, Muhammad grew up with four siblings in Maplewood and discovered fencing when she was 13 years old, winning medals and accolades until she qualified for the Olympics in 2016.
"I'm excited to just partner with a brand that I know honors powerful women who are breaking barriers and whose sole goal is to impact the future leaders of tomorrow", Muhammad tells PeopleStyle.
For Muhammad, it was not only important for the doll to have her hijab, but also for it to share her likeness and have her body type.
The doll was presented to Muhammad, who was named one of TIME's Most Influential People in 2016, by model Ashley Graham on November 13 at the Glamour Women of the Year Summit. Ashley Graham, who debuted her own Barbie at last year's Women of the Year Summit, helped introduce the new doll. and the whole exchange gave us a lot of feelings.
"It's a very humbling experience to even be in the same sentence with these women", Muhammad said to the Huffington Post. The name combines the words she and hero.
Barbie, Muhammad, and others took to Twitter to celebrate the ground-breaking announcement. But also have kids who aren't Muslim, who don't wear a hijab, to also have the opportunity to play with a doll that wears a hijab. Plus, they get to learn about fencing! "I feel like we're just shattering all the little glass ceilings".