- Nigerian Haneefa Adam recreates the Barbie design to make it more inclusive
- She placed hijab on Barbies to depict Muslim women
- She says this weaves a more positive narrative for hijab-wearing women
Through the years, toy manufacturer Mattel has tried to make the designs of its iconic Barbie more inclusive.
In 2009, it introduced African American Barbie line and has expanded the design to depict women of different figures and colors years later.
But 25-year-old Nigerian Haneefa Adam noticed that there are still no Barbie dolls that wore a hijab – the scarf that Muslim women wear over their heads.
So Adam decided to design the dolls to put a hijab over them. She blogged about this project through her social media accounts she named “Hijarbie”.
“I’d like to do something similar and exclusive to my identity,” Adam said in a feature video by CNN African Voices.
According to her, women wearing hijabs have been taunted so her blog about Barbies wearing hijabs sets a more “positive narrative for Muslim girls”.
Adam lives in Ilorin in Western Nigeria where majority of the 800,000 people are Muslims.
Her initiative has since caught the attention of the public since she started blogging around the same time that Mattel launched its set of Barbie with different body shapes.
Now, Hijarbie has around 80,000 followers on Instagram.
“I was able to express myself thru social media and have a lot of people appreciate it,” said Adam.
“It’s really important to realize who we are and appreciate the different cultural and religious background,” she also stressed.
Here’s a look at some of her Hijarbies: