Mattel has unveiled a brand new Barbie doll modeled after the the first US Olympian to compete wearing a hijab. This marks the first Barbie doll to wear a headscarf in the company’s 58 year history.
Ibtihaj Muhammad won the Bronze medal for fencing at the Rio Olympics last year and while she indeed is a good role model for young women, there’s something strange about a Barbie doll dedicated to a woman who hides all of her womanly features, as her religion requires her to do (in fact, according to a WSJ story on Muhammad, her parents actually sought out a sport that would allow her to be entirely covered while competing).
But let’s not forget an important aspect of this particular type of doll: Barbie likes to show skin and according to an awful lot of feminists out there, there’s nothing wrong with that. Even Mattel’s recently revamped line of modern and very woke Barbie dolls (which includes entrepreneur Barbie, scientist Barbie, curvey Barbie, afro Barbie, girl power Barbie, blue-haired punk Barbie, along with a variety of Barbies with different skin tones) all like to show off a bit of skin as well as beautifully coiffed hair, and many fun fashion accessories. They are, in short, very girl-y.