“Hijarbie” Instagram Shows a Different Side To Barbie

by Anastasia K Zimitravich


In recent years, Barbie has been criticized for providing a singular perspective of womanhood for young girls to look up to: a thin, white, blonde, Ken-pining, cash-coveting one. Haneefah Adam, a 24-year-old master’s graduate from Nigeria, started an experiment last December to further bridge the Barbie culture gap. Entitled “Hijarbie,” Adam created an Instagram account to design modest clothing for dolls. Amassing 38,000 followers, Adam’s “Hijarbie” aims to showcase the traditional Muslim hijab as a simultaneous form of expression and faith, and provide young girls with a more accurate depiction of womanhood in various cultures.

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“I was a little bit surprised [by its success], but then, most people haven’t seen something like that before,” says Adam when interviewed by Al Jazeera. She makes note that fashion trends in the Islamic faith are changing. Whereas the hijab was a practical accoutrement of modesty when Adam herself was a young girl, she explains that liberalism is giving way to allow Muslim women freedom of artistic expression without compromising modesty, a central component of their faith.


“I think the most important thing to have as a Muslim or a non-Muslim is a very good character. The hijab is actually more about modesty than fashion but who says you can’t incorporate both together? Fashion with faith.”

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