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An Unlikely Combination: Diversity and Barbies

When you think of Barbies, you probably picture the stereotypical blonde haired, white doll with a size 2 waist that most girls, up to this point, have grown up with. This is about to change; Barbie is set to release its first hijab-wearing doll in 2018, based on Ibtihaj Muhammad, an Olympic fencer. Muhammad rose to fame after the 2016 summer Olympics, after becoming the first Muslim-American to earn a medal at the games, and the first American to ever wear a headscarf at the games. This comes after the 2016 release of Tall, Petite, and Curvy doll body types. Barbie has been scrutinized in the past by many consumers for the lack of representation in their dolls, the “typical” barbie being caucasian having blonde hair, blue eyes, and looking very much like a model. Galia Slayen even constructed a life size doll to comment on this fact."If Barbie were an actual woman, she would be 5'9" tall, have a 39" bust, an 18" waist, 33" hips and a size 3 shoe," Slayen wrote in the Huffington Post. This was back in 2011.

Prior to the set release in 2016, “Hijabarbie” an instagram account gained ten of thousands of followers. “Hijabarbie,” was started by Haneefah Adam, 24, from Nigeria. The account features a doll wearing the Islamic veil in a number of fashionable ways. Adam is just one example of individuals and business who were tired of waiting for mainstream companies, like Barbie, to give them the representation they wanted and took it into their own hands.

 Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad Holds The Hijab-Wearing Barbie

Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad Holds The Hijab-Wearing Barbie

Although it has taken time it seems consumers are finally getting the representation they want and need for young girls.

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