Barbie is now also wearing hijab. How the doll fashion initiative of three mothers from Pittburgh is supposed to make our children's rooms more diverse.
What a fuss has there been over the past few years as Mattel started adding variety to its famous doll icon Barbie. No longer just the classic blonde Barbie with a wasp waist and ultra-long legs, but large, small and (well: almost) curvy plastic Barbies found their way onto the toy shelves. Other manufacturers weren't inclusive enough. They created alternative dolls: pregnant women, breastfeeding women - even dolls with pimples.
Instead of producing an additional Barbie alternative, three mothers from Pittsburgh, USA have now started to produce and sell hijabs (the headgear of Muslim women) for Barbie dolls.
The "Hello Hijab" founders Kristen Michaels and Gisele Fetterman: "It may sound naive, but with our project we are trying to show even little girls that, despite their different looks, the similarities outweigh the differences. A first approach can be to make toys more diverse to design."
The hand-sewn doll hijabs are sold for the equivalent of 4 euros. All proceeds go to organizations that work for a multicultural society and tolerance. Fetterman: "When my daughter Grace was playing with her Barbies, I first noticed how standardized all dolls are - and how little they depict our society. But if we want to encourage tolerance, then we have to start in the children's room. Because little girls and Boys have not yet developed any prejudices."