The newest Barbie doll has—as usual—a set of great cheekbones, a thousand-watt smile replete with pearly whites, enviable eyebrows, and another beautiful outfit to add to her Dream Closet. She also has brown skin and wears a hijab—making her the first Barbie in the 58-year history of the Mattel-owned doll franchise to sport the Muslim head-covering.
American beauty has long been defined by blonde-haired, blue-eyed Farrah Fawcett lookalikes. But icons of beauty such as Barbie, Allure, and Vogue have finally started recognize the full breadth of American women—some of whom are Muslim and wear the hijab.
The newest doll is based on a real American woman: the 31-year-old Olympic sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing in the games for the United States. It’s part of the Barbie Sheroes collection, celebrating accomplished women from various spheres.