Every platform holds its fair share of power. And on each and every platform, representation matters. For young girls of faith, that representation became a reality with the news of a Hijab-wearing Barbie that would soon be released.
The official team at Barbie announced the very same through their Twitter account.
We are so excited to honor @IbtihajMuhammad with a one-of-a-kind #Barbie doll! Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries. #Shero #YouCanBeAnything #GlamourWOTY pic.twitter.com/oV0e6ClgL6
— Barbie (@Barbie) November 13, 2017
The Hijab-wearing Barbie has been based on American saber fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammad.
She’s a 31-year-old Olympian who has represented Muslim women at a level as grand as the Olympics.
As soon as the news broke, multiple publications picked it up…
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) November 13, 2017
FINALLY! ? https://t.co/XxZLmzONkm
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) November 13, 2017
…thereby allowing a bigger audience to be made aware of the news.
Say hello to the first-ever hijab-wearing Barbie! The doll is based on Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. pic.twitter.com/FisNrxeBif
— AJ+ (@ajplus) November 13, 2017
Ibtihaj Muhammad took to Twitter, expressing her gratitude and excitement over the news.
Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true ?? #shero pic.twitter.com/py7nbtb2KD
— Ibtihaj Muhammad (@IbtihajMuhammad) November 13, 2017
However, one Twitter user pointed out how certain racists would be extremely angry about this piece of news.
— JammyDodger ? (@mrjammyjamjar3) November 14, 2017
Unfortunately, he was right. As soon as the news broke, racists started fuming over social media.
Sharia Mattel endorses the oppression of Women & Jew Haters!
Mattel announced Monday their newest Barbie will wear a Sharia Hijab & be modeled after Anti-Semitic Muslim Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. pic.twitter.com/S3s6mTHaN3
— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) November 14, 2017
With a distorted version of Islam in mind, racists started taking shots at the doll and its company.
As a Christian, I find your decision to make a Hijab wearing Barbie offensive and in poor taste. I REBUKE your CULT dolls and will lead the charge in an effective #BoycottMattel campaign.
I am asking that you DENOUNCE this and provide a public apology. https://t.co/gMOHZ5nIBq
— ??Patriot 24/7?? (@TrumpTrain45Pac) November 14, 2017
And some racist jokes were made in extremely poor taste.
Barbie releases new Muslim female doll wearing a hijab. Next they’ll have her boyfriend ‘Isis Ken’ wearing a suicide belt.
— USA Symbols ?? (@USAsymbols) November 13, 2017
Mattel releases first Hijab ? wearing Barbie! Does it come with a rental truck full of explosives? ?? https://t.co/00sE8edZuq
— 'GITMO' BAMA ? (@President1Trump) November 13, 2017
The entire ordeal was, undoubtedly, highly insensitive…
JIHAD BARBIE! ISIS Ken sold separately. https://t.co/hamJVpAoLc
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) November 14, 2017
…but the racists kept at it, letting their anger be known.
You can also accessorize Ken with a whip and bag of stones in case Barbie forgets to wear her hijab in public. https://t.co/9QtyimoR0f
— Rob Howland (@HowlandRobin) November 14, 2017
However, where racists were fuming in one corner, there were many who saw this as great news. They, too, took to social media to express their delight.
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) November 13, 2017
The fact that representation matters was pointed out.
We now finally have in 2017 a hijab wearing @Barbie with the last name Muhammad.
Say it again for the People in the back: REPRESENTATION MATTERShttps://t.co/eI2lMT9V4l
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) November 14, 2017
People considered the idea beautiful.
— citation needed (@itsyogirlsagal) November 14, 2017
And many took to appreciate the entire concept of a Hijab-wearing Barbie.
I think that's really outstanding!!! Overdue!
— Reese (@Reese04200312) November 13, 2017
I love it pic.twitter.com/CKZZ6RPSDQ
— Sandhiya Shweta (@ShwetaSandhiya) November 13, 2017
Moreover, some people stepped in to defend the Barbie and the religion it represents against the racist trolls.
What is your problem ? You can’t disrespect people’s religions and the chocies they make. They can wear hijab or or anything else they want.
— Vintage Tshirt (@vintaclassic) November 14, 2017
Others expressed how they were eagerly awaiting this new Barbie’s release…
— Jason E Griffin (@jasonegriffin) November 13, 2017
…so that they may add it to their collection that represented powerful women.
— ?Samantha Lauzon? (@samanthalauzon) November 14, 2017
Undoubtedly, it’s a great honor and a milestone, as the following tweet rightly pointed out:
Congratulations! What a great honor and inspiration for all girls of faith and determination.
— John Daly (@Daly95) November 13, 2017
In a world that’s so evidently racist and hateful towards all they don’t understand, representation matters and always will. It is thus that such inclusions are truly a great step towards a more accepting society.
What do you have to say about this? Let us know in the comments.