First ever Hijab wearing Barbie, is it a good thing?

From high-end designer abayas, to the Nike sports hijab, an ill fated attempt by a mainstream nail polish line to target Muslim women (but was actually run by an Islamophobe), a hijabi featured in Playboy, to the just announced “Hijab wearing Barbie” and even the ad campaign by Justice that has featured girls in hijab.

The Muslim market is on fire!

I came across this ad at a Justice store in Orland Park, Illinois.

As more companies continue to report losses in revenue and declining sales, you can bet you’ll see many of them targeting minorities and Muslim communities.

Suddenly, we are a viable market, because we eagerly jump on products that traditionally ignored us and are generally loyal consumers. You say “Eid Mubarak”, I’ll shop at your store. You showcase hijabs, I’ll buy from your brand.

There is that deep seeded need for validation that these brands are exploiting. It’s a double edged sword, because on one hand, it feels great to be included, but on the other, it takes away from small businesses that have been catering to our needs for decades.

If you follow business news, or do a little digging on your own. You’ll find that a lot of big name companies aren’t doing so well. Their sales are down, and they aren’t as appealing as they once were.

From a marketing perspective, at this point it doesn’t hurt to try something completely different. And why wouldn’t brands try to target the groups that they essentially ignored for decades? It’s their chance to change their image and bring in a new group of loyal consumers.

I know I wrote about this in the past when Nike first announced their hijab, and I was really excited about it. I still am, but I’m also a little cautious. It doesn’t feel good to only be recognized when people are using you for their benefit. But, maybe I’m being too cynical.

What do you think? Are you loving the attention hijabis are getting, or do you think it’s just the new trend and will die out?

This article has 3 comments

  1. Mariam

    @Ameenah I would love to see that collaboration! 🙂 And yes I think they need to do more partnering if they want to come off as sincere, instead of appearing to appropriate the community’s ideas/businesses.

  2. Rofiat

    Hmmmm……it two ways ……to me its propagating islam in one part but their own mission is not to propagate islam but to sell….. market strategy… buh there is no harm…..we are safe

  3. Ameenah Diggins

    It really is a double edged sword the American Muslim demographic is forecasted to grow exponentially in the coming years. Since America is built on capitalism this new found love for Muslims is most certainly driven by the need for green. We saw The same new found love for Latinas as the number of Spanish speaking Americans grew. All of a sudden every show on PBS Had a Spanish speaking character and commercials featured Happy Latin families. If I see the intergration of Muslim owned businesses that partner with these larger brands perhaps My spidey senses will stop tingling. I.e. A Justice and HijabiFits.com collaboration would be great! ( wink )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *