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Mattel launches first hijab-wearing Barbie, inspired by an Olympian

The doll is part of Mattel’s “Shero Barbie” line of dolls based on real, inspirational women.

Mattel launches first hijab-wearing Barbie, inspired by an Olympian
?:: Mattel

It’s a big step towards inclusivity for a corporation whose products are a big part of many childhoods. Mattel’s first hijab-wearing Barbie was unveiled this week. It’s a dream come true not only for the Olympian it’s modeled after, but for all the little kids who will now be able to play with a Barbie who looks like them.


The first hijab-wearing Barbie is modeled after Ibtihaj Muhammad, the fencer who won bronze in Rio last year and became the first US woman to wear the Islamic headscarf while competing at the Olympics.

Muhammad says growing up in New Jersey, she and her sisters used to make little hijabs out of tissue so their Barbies would look more like them. Thanks to the doll bearing her likeness, today’s kids won’t have to raid Kleenex boxes. Muhammad hopes to see the doll in non-Islamic houses, too.

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"Today I'm proud to know that little girls who wear hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don't can play with a Barbie who chooses to wear a headscarf," she said at Glamour's Women of the Year summit.

Not only does the Olympian's doll have a hijab, but she’s got full fencing gear too. After all, this doll is an athlete. "When I think about my own journey, me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing, there were people who made me feel like I didn't belong," says Muhammad. "For all those people who didn't believe in me, this Barbie doll is for you."

The doll is part of Mattel’s “Shero Barbie” line of dolls based on real, inspirational women (Gabby Douglas, Ava Duvernay and Ashley Graham are all represented in the line). Unfortunately, she won’t arrive in time for Christmas. Mattel says the first hijab-wearing Barbie will be available in 2018.

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Meri Meri: Decor and gifts that bring the wonder of childhood to life

We could not be more excited to bring the magic of Meri Meri to the Motherly Shop. For over 30 years, their playful line of party products, decorations, children's toys and stationery have brought magic to celebrations and spaces all over the world. Staring as a kitchen table endeavor with some scissors, pens and glitter in Los Angeles in 1985, Meri Meri (founder Meredithe Stuart-Smith's childhood nickname) has evolved from a little network of mamas working from home to a team of 200 dreaming up beautiful, well-crafted products that make any day feel special.

We've stocked The Motherly Shop with everything from Halloween must-haves to instant-heirloom gifts kiddos will adore. Whether you're throwing a party or just trying to make the everyday feel a little more special, we've got you covered.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

It's 2020. The world is changing. It's hard to believe but the old decade is over, the new one is here and it is bringing a lot of new life with it. The babies born this year are members of Generation Alpha and the world is waiting for them.

We're only a few months into the new year and there are already some new celebrity arrivals making headlines while making their new parents proud.

If your little one arrived (or is due to arrive) in 2020, they've got plenty of high profile company.

Here are all the celebrity babies born in 2020 (so far):

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