FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show Mattel’s Latest Barbie Wearing A Hijab?
An image shared on Facebook more than 400 times purportedly shows Mattel’s most recently released Barbie doll wearing a hijab.
The image actually shows a Barbie that a Nigerian woman dressed in a hijab for her Instagram account. Mattel’s most recent line does not include a Barbie doll that wears a hijab.
Featured in the photo is what appears to be a Barbie doll wearing a pale blue headscarf. The Facebook post includes a link to a Feb. 16 article alleging that Mattel modeled the pictured doll after Olympic medal winning fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.
“Mattel just released a new Barbie and some people are simply furious,” reads the caption. “Take a look and decide for yourself if it’s worthy of the controversy.”
However, the pictured doll is not the Barbie modeled after Muhammad, nor is it in the company’s latest product release. (RELATED: Viral Image Links Rashida Tlaib’s Scarf To The ‘Islamic Terrorist State’)
The hijab-wearing Barbie actually comes from an Instagram account called Hijarbie. Nigerian medical student Haneefa Adam created the account several years ago and shared photos of Barbies dressed in hijabs and other clothing that she made herself, according to CNN. The account hasn’t been active since 2017.
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Unveiled in January 2020, the newest Barbie product line features dolls that have vitiligo, prosthetic legs and bald heads, as well as new skin tones and body types. A review of that product line turned up no dolls wearing hijabs.
Mattel started selling its only hijab-wearing Barbie – modeled after Muhammad – in 2018, according to The Associated Press. It was part of the “Shero” line that also included dolls of pilot Amelia Earhart, artist Frida Kahlo and mathematician Katherine Johnson.