Has Barbie converted to Islam?
Mattel’s iconic doll Barbie already comes in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, a variety of hair styles and four different body shapes. Now, thanks to an enterprising 24-year-old Nigerian Muslim woman, Barbie is Shariah-compliant.
“It’s about having a doll that looks like her, that represents her own cultural and religious background,” said Instagram fashionista Haneefah Adam. While not Mattel-compliant, Hijarbie is proving to be an Instagram success.
Adam told Style Mic she got the idea for Hijarbie a few months ago, after looking at the popular Barbie Style Instagram site.
“It got me thinking about how I’d actually like to see a doll dressed up like I would have – covered up,” Adam said. “I was mulling about the idea for about three months while I was still studying for my master’s degree in the U.K. When I got back to Nigeria, I went to the mall, purchased a doll, dressed it up, documented it and here we are.”
Adam, who is developing a modest-lifestyle brand called Hanie, makes all dresses and hijabs herself. She says it’s her intent to show girls that wearing a hijab makes them no less beautiful than Barbie.
“I want them to be inspired — this is about having an alternative and creating an awareness of having toys that adopt your religion and culture and in your own likeness, which at the end of the day, leads to an improvement in self-esteem,” Adam said.
Responding to critics who pointed out she uses a white-skinned Barbie in her pictures, Adam noted she was unable to find a dark-skinned one in Nigeria, though she would like to.
“Since I’m dark skinned, 0f course I wanted to dress up a black doll too,” she tweeted.
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But skin color is only the beginning of the online criticism Hijarbie is generating on Twitter.
Mathew Johnson @UAI2000: Ridiculous. The hijab is a sign of oppression. What next, Ken has 4 Barbie wives? Just piss off!
AM @ArRuple: BARBIE would never wear a hijab/garbage bag. … but since she’s been corrupted, will Ken have on a suicide vest?
VOTE4Trump @needtoknowHim: This makes me sick. I can’t believe how we are catering to a bunch of murders.
Alex Cowan @Desareon: Public Stoning, Acid Attack & Taharrush kit sold separately…
Adam is undeterred and hopes to make the Hijarbie available for purchase on her future website. According to Arabian Business, the Islamic fashion market is booming, projected to grow by six percent annually and worth $327 billion by 2020.