A 24-year old Nigerian woman, Haneefah Adam has come up with her own version of Barbie called ‘Hijarbie’. Haneefah said a look at the hugely popular Barbie Style Instagram “got me thinking about how I’d actually like to see a doll dressed up like I am, all covered up.”
“I was mulling about the idea for about three months while I was still studying for my master’s degree in the UK. When I got back to Nigeria, I went to the mall, purchased a doll, dressed it up, documented it and here we are,” she said.
She currently owns and runs a lifestyle brand called, Hanie and Her posts about her ‘Hijarbies’ on Instagram has earned her over 17,000 of followers already.
She said she has plans to dressed up a black doll which she has already ordered but had to start with what she has.
“My outfit is featuring Green Jumpsuit Denim long jacket with green threading details, Pearl brooch and a dazzling smile. I’d have loved to dress up a black doll like myself too. I’ve ordered for some internationally and they’ll soon be here. I basically started with what I had.”
Hijarbie will be available in the US and will be sold in the UK from mid March, at major toy retailers for 9.99 pounds each.
This innovation is coming up just weeks after toy maker, Mattel introduced a more realistic range of Barbie dolls in the biggest shake-up in the 57-year history of the model.
Besides including four body types – the original rail-thin Barbie, a taller Barbie, one with more curves and a petite version, the new line has seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and a number of hair styles. Some of the models are black, though there have been black Barbies since 1980.
Global general manager for Barbie, Evelyn Mazzocco, said during the launch in January of the new body types:
“We are excited to literally be changing the face of the brand. These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them – the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them.
“We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty.”