Barbie makes doll of hijab-wearing Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad
NEW YORK » The maker of Barbie has announced it will sell a doll modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who competed in last year’s Olympics while wearing a hijab.
Mattel Inc. said the doll will be available online next fall. The doll is part of the Barbie “Shero” line that honors women who break boundaries. Past dolls have included gymnast Gabby Douglas and “Selma” director Ava DuVernay.
“I had so many moments as an athlete, where I didn’t feel included, where I was often in spaces where there was a lack of representation,” Muhammad said Monday night at the Glamour Women of the Year gala in New York. “So to be in this moment, as a U.S. Olympian, to have Mattel, such a global brand, diversify The former treasurer of a volunteer youth soccer league in New Jersey has admitted stealing more than $400,000. Anthony Gallo, of Freehold Township, on their toy line to include a Barbie doll that wears a hijab is very moving to me.”
Muhammad, the first American to compete at the Olympics while wearing a hijab, won a bronze medal in fencing at the 2016 Rio Games.
“There was so much about the doll that was important to me,” she said. “I know as a kid I was bullied for having larger legs, and sport taught me to embrace my body and to love my body and the strength that it could produce. 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. And I am very into eyeliner, so I wanted a strongwinged cat eye. And Mattel listened to everything, everything even down to the fabric of the hijab. Monday pleaded guilty to theft. Under terms of a plea agreement, the 57-year-old faces up to six years in prison and must pay $280,000 in restitution when he’s sentenced in January.
The president of the Freehold Soccer League called for an investigation in 2016 after learning that bills for uniforms were not paid and money was missing from bank accounts.
Gallo admitted stealing the money between 2012 and 2016 and using the cash to pay personal expenses.
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Ibtihaj Muhammad holds a Barbie doll in her likeness at the 2017 Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Kings Theatre on Monday in New York.