The woman behind Hijarbie
By: Maggie Downs
Source: Baby Center Blog
Mattel recently gave Barbie a makeover, unveiling dolls in petite, tall, and curvy body shapes, seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, and 14 new face sculpts. But Nigerian medical student Haneefah Adam has given Barbie something else — religion.
Meet Hijarbie, who flaunts mini hijab fashion that is both stylish and modest.
Adam was inspired to create an Instagram account for Hijarbie after seeing accounts for other dolls, like Barbie. None of them reflected Adam’s reality — or the reality for millions of hijab-wearing Muslim girls all over the world. Adam wanted a doll that was a little more relatable.
“I decided to fill that gap and started documenting it,” said Adam, who also blogs about food, health and beauty, and faith.
Though not every Muslim woman wears a hijab, Adam says the veil is part of her unique identity. “It’s my crown, and it represents my own personal control over the way I want to be seen.”
While Barbie’s Instagram depicts the doll poolside people-watching at the Beverly Hills Hilton or hanging out backstage at New York Fashion Week, Hijarbie dons a teal print dress for a dinner date or hangs out at the library, book in hand.
“I think she is the everyday Muslim girl who has her own hobbies,” Adam says. “The page is focused more on her style, though.”
Adam designs and sews every teeny-tiny piece of clothing herself, styles the doll, and shoots the photos.
“I usually start by looking at the fabrics I have and think of an outfit. Sometimes they are planned, and sometimes they are not. Some designs even change into the whole process,” she says. “Since I just started making doll clothes, it can take up to three hours to finish styling and take pictures.”
Sometimes the doll fashions are even inspired by real-life fashion bloggers.
Adam’s Hijarbie is the latest piece of a larger fashion movement that includes Uniqlo, which partnered with a Muslim fashion designer and blogger for a collection of modest clothing, and a line of luxury hijabs and abayas from Dolce & Gabbana.
“Modest fashion tries to fulfill two things: Faith and contemporary fashion. It’s when one is able to successfully mix the two without compromising one for the other,” Adam says.
She seems to have hit upon the winning combination. Hijarbie has received an enormous response in a short amount of time, garnering praise from people of all ages and gathering press from CNN, Allure magazine, USA Today, and countless other outlets. Now many are clamoring to buy the doll’s modest fashions, which will be available for purchase soon.
As for the Muslim girls who now have a style icon of their own in Hijarbie? Adam has a message for them: “I’d like them to be the best at what they can be and try to make a positive impact in the world.”
For related content from Baby Center Blog please see the original article.