Mattel has released its first hijab-wearing Barbie doll, inspired by Olympic fencing star Ibtihaj Muhammad. Here, Vogue.me looks back at eyebrow-raising factoids in the history of this fantastic plastic toy.
#1: Barbie was designed in 1959 in a business park in El Segundo, California. Not quite the “dream house.” She was launched that same year at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
#2: The traditional Barbie silhouette in real life would translate to a woman who is 1.75m tall, with a 40cm waist. The vital organs would not fit within these physiological dimensions.
#3: In 2014, Karl Largerfeld’s design signature was immortalised in Barbie form as the designer created a limited edition doll for the Barbie Collector series. The doll featured a chic white collar shirt, fingerless gloves, and oversized shades to boot. It sold out within a mere few hours on Net-a-Porter with a price tag of US $200. The value quadrupled on eBay that week.
#4: Mattel has launched several offshoots, including the body-positive Fashionista collection that offers a variation of Barbies in petite, curvy, tall, and its traditional shape.
#5: Mattel produced a Barbie inspired by plus-sized model and Vogue cover star Ashley Graham, who insisted that her doll shouldn’t have a thigh gap and should have cellulite on the thighs. The company suggested that the latter suggestion would look like a production error.
#6: Following the success of Gal Gadot’s blockbuster movie Wonder Woman earlier this year, Mattel launched Wonder Woman Barbie, with toned biceps and a strong physique. Sales peaked higher than Mattel’s Superman doll launched the previous year.
#7: The Barbie #Shero line is modeled on women who break boundaries in various fields. The latest release is based on the US Olympic fencing medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and is the first hijab-wearing Barbie. “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,” Muhammad said in an Instagram post.