A new Barbie doll has been launched as part of Mattel's "sheroes" line. It is a doll in full hijab modeled after American-Muslim Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American athlete to compete in the Olympics wearing a headscarf, which -- apparently -- Mattel felt was something for little girls worldwide to emulate. That and the possibility of selling millions of toys in the burgeoning Muslim market, of course.
According to a statement from Mattel:
"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out," said Sejal Shah Miller, Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie. "Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything."
The attempt to paint the new Hijab Barbie as a symbol of empowerment for girls is, however, quite disturbing.