Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Barbie in Hijab Represents Oppression or Empowerment?

Last week, Mattel’s newest Barbie doll was released, as part of the Barbie Sheroes collection. The new pretty Barbie is dressed in a fencer’s suit, got a brown skin, and wears hijab. She is created this way to celebrate the accomplishment of Ibtihaj Muhammad; the American 31 years-old Olympic fencer.

I got very excited to see the new Barbie because it simply acknowledges the women who do not conform to the strict standards of the so-called “western” beauty. Imagine how this little doll can inspire millions of young girls in Muslim families, not only in the United States but all over the world, to realize their utmost potential when they grow up, regardless of what they look like or the way they choose to dress. 

But, Maureen Callahan, a columnist at the New York Post, who is also a woman and an American – just like Ibtihaj – was offended by the new Barbie for having dark skin and modest hijab! Rather than celebrating the accomplishment of Ibtihaj as an American woman, she just wrote a long article attacking Ibtihaj and her background as a Muslim woman! Unfortunately, she was the only one to do the attack in American media. 

In this short video (watch above), I am trying to explain to Ms. Callahan, and all those who think like her, what hijab really is and how a piece of cloth cannot create or implicate oppression. 

I hope you find it useful and I look forward to your comments and discussions. You can always contact me on my email HERE, comment under the video on Youtube, or visit my pages on Facebook or Twitter.