This one isn't an official Mattel model, but "Hijab Barbie" is taking Instagram by storm. Mattel debuted a host of diverse Barbies recently, unveiling dolls with different body types and skin tones. Now a young Nigerian woman is outfitting Barbies in hijabs — and long dresses — and posting photos of various "Hijarbies" on Instagram.
Haneefah Adam, 24, who recently graduated with a pharmacy degree from a UK university, says she was inspired to create the Hijarbie after coming across the Barbie Style Instagram page.
"I thought I had not seen Barbie dressed in a hijab before so I decided to open an Instagram account and dressed Barbie up in the clothes that I made," she told CNN. " I thought it was really important for a doll to be dressed like how I would be."
Malibu Barbie, she's not. Hijarbie is a "modest doll" who "offers Muslim girls a role model" they can relate to, notes Adam, one with "roots in my religion and cultural identity".
The way Barbie dresses is "very skimpy and different, and there's nothing wrong with it. I just wanted to give another option for Muslim girls like me," she added.
Responses on the pages are positive with a few a bit perplexed. "Whoa! I need to digest this," said one vistor to Adam's page, while another noted: "Don't know how to react to this ahaha."
All of her Hijarbies are white — for the time being — and most of the "models" are blue-eyed.
"Why isn't the page diversified in terms of race: The simple truth is, I couldn't find the different types in Nigeria (no Amazon or eBay or anything, LOL)," Adam notes on her Instagram page.
"I'd have loved to dress up a black doll myself, too. I've ordered for some internationally and they'll soon be here. I basically started with what I had."
She hopes to start selling her Hijarbies soon.