The doll is a part of the company's 'Sheros' line and is based on U.S. Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad

Toy maker Mattel has done a lot in recent years to help shake up the perception of its Barbie doll, from introducing new lines that feature broader representations of different ethnicities and body sizes, to campaigning for dads to play Barbie with their children. This week the company took another step towards inclusion with the debut of the first hijab-wearing barbie, based on U.S. fencing athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad.

The doll, unveiled at Glamour magazine's Women of the Year LIVE Summit, is the latest addition to the Barbie ‘Sheros‘ line, which celebrates women who break boundaries in their fields and inspire the next generation of girls. Previous Barbies in the Sheros line have included dolls in the likeness of ballet dancer Misty Copeland, model Ashley Graham and film director Ava DuVernay.

Muhammad, winner of a bronze medal in the team sabre at the 2016 Rio Olympics, in addition to being the first American Olympian to compete wearing a hijab, is used to breaking boundaries, not only in the sports world but in fashion as well. She is the designer of Louella, a line of modest clothing for women. The Barbie in her likeness thus merges both the fashionable and sporty aspects of Muhammad's life, featuring a stylish black-and-white ensemble as well as a fencing uniform, sword and removable helmet.

Working with Barbie lead designer Robert Best, Muhammad provided advice and guidance throughout the process to ensure the doll was an accurate portrayal. This included educating the design team on how to properly tie a hijab, as well as smaller details to make the doll more true-to-life, such as Muhammad's signature dark eyeliner.

“Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become,” said Muhammad in a press statement. “I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle, and now I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams.”

The doll will be available starting in 2018.

Barbie Sheros

Toy maker Mattel has done a lot in recent years to help shake up the perception of its Barbie doll, from introducing new lines that feature broader representations of different ethnicities and body sizes, to campaigning for dads to play Barbie with their children. This week the company took another step towards inclusion with the debut of the first hijab-wearing barbie, based on U.S. fencing athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad.

The doll, unveiled at Glamour magazine's Women of the Year LIVE Summit, is the latest addition to the Barbie ‘Sheros‘ line, which celebrates women who break boundaries in their fields and inspire the next generation of girls. Previous Barbies in the Sheros line have included dolls in the likeness of ballet dancer Misty Copeland, model Ashley Graham and film director Ava DuVernay.