ibtihaj muhammad is a world-class athlete, a five-time world champion, and Olympian who has inspired a new line of Barbies. Muhammad won a medal at the Olympic games while wearing a hijab. Her accomplishment resulted in the creation of Mattel’s new doll design which is made to resemble Muhammad’s physique. Notably, Muhammad is the first American Muslim athlete to wear a hijab during an Olympic competition. She stated that she finds her headdress liberating and it serves as an opportunity to appreciate more than her appearance.

Ibtihaj Muhammad presents at Glamour's Women of The Year

Graham debuted her own Barbie at Glamour’s Women of The Year event in 2016. Muhammed presented the doll alongside Ashley Graham at this year’s Glamour’s Women of the Year event. As the doll was unveiled, Muhammad exclaimed that this was a “perfect hijab moment”. She explained how she played with dolls as a child and often made her own small hijabs for them.

The Olympian participated intimately with the design of the first Barbie to wear a hijab when visiting the Mattel Design Factory. The doll is dressed in full fencing garb and was made slightly different than most Barbies. This version was intentionally made with thick, muscular legs similar to model Ashley Graham’s legs.

A doll in her own image

Muhammed stated that as a young girl, it was important to her and her siblings to play with dolls of color. Her mother felt that it was important for Muhammad and her sister to see dolls with brown skin to promote their own beauty.

She was born in Maplewood, N.J. and started fencing when she was 13. Sports were an integral part of the upbringing of her and her siblings.

In her TEDx talk, she discussed how she was influenced to play sports within her own household and tried out a few different sports. She stated that her choice of dress sometimes made her feel out of place within her team. Muhammad also stated that her mother suggested she consider the sport after seeing the uniform supported a hijab. After college, Muhammad began to compete in fencing internationally.

A champion and an entrepreneur

Muhammad is breaking the mold in more ways than one. She has also launched her own fashion brand, Louella. Her family brand focuses on modern, fresh looks in modern fashion.

The business is managed by Muhammad and her siblings.

The latest addition to Barbie's "Sheroes" collection

The doll designed after Muhammad is part of Mattel’s “SheroesBarbie collection. The collection is meant to highlight heroic females who break boundaries and inspire girls. Muhammad is joining Olympian Gabby Douglas, award-winning writer and director Ava Duvernay, model Ashley Graham, and ballerina Misty Copeland. Muhammad’s doll will be released in 2018.