Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad’s new Barbie doll is the first to wear a hijab

Published: Monday, November 13, 2017 @ 3:44 PM

U.S. Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad speaks onstage a new Barbie doll in her image during Glamour Celebrates 2017 Women Of The Year Live Summit at Brooklyn Museum on November 13, 2017 in New York City.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour/Getty Images for Glamour
U.S. Olympic Medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad speaks onstage a new Barbie doll in her image during Glamour Celebrates 2017 Women Of The Year Live Summit at Brooklyn Museum on November 13, 2017 in New York City.(Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Glamour/Getty Images for Glamour)

Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad continues to make history.

In 2016, she was the first U.S. Olympic athlete to compete wearing a hijab at the Rio games. Now, she’s representative of women and girls who choose to wear a hijab through  her very own Barbie doll.

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People reported that a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll in Muhammad’s likeness debuted at Monday’s Glamour Women of the Year Live Summit.

At the summit, Glamour reported Muhammad could hardly contain herself when she saw her Barbie.

“I don't know if you can tell, but I'm so excited!” she said. "Perfect hijab moment right here, this is amazing.”

“I hope that little girls of color across the heartland will be inspired to embrace what makes them unique,” she said.

Muhammad joins a number of history making women who have had special Shero Barbie dolls made in their likeness, including model Ashley Graham and Misty Copeland in 2016 and director Ava Duvernay in  2015.

Related: Body positive model Ashley Graham gets her own Barbie

“I’m excited to just partner with a brand that I know honors powerful women who are breaking barriers and whose sole goal is to impact the future leaders of tomorrow,” Muhammad told People. “To be included in this conversation is very humbling, and I’m over the moon about this whole thing.”

Like Graham before her, Muhammad made sure the doll represented her in body shape and in her makeup. The sabre fencer is known for her signature eyeliner.

“I know that as an athlete I have larger legs — these strong legs that we use, especially fencers, to propel ourselves into lunges — and it was important for me to have my doll be as close to my likeness as possible. So I wanted to have athletic toned legs for sure. I’m also really big to into eyeliner,” she said. “I like to think of my eyeliner as a shield of power; I not only wear it to the grocery store but I also wear it to compete. I wore it to the Olympic games, so I wanted my Barbie to have the perfect winged liner and also to wear a hijab.”

A view of the Ibtihaj Muhammad barbie on display during Glamour Celebrates 2017 Women Of The Year Live Summit at Brooklyn Museum on November 13, 2017 in New York City.(Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Glamour/Getty Images for Glamour)
Although some past Sheroes were limited in release and others not released to the public, Muhammad’s doll will be released to the public in fall 2018.

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Meet this Dayton couple blending food and innovation

Published: Wednesday, February 14, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Joe and Tonia Fish. CONTRIBUTED
Joe and Tonia Fish. CONTRIBUTED

The husband-and-wife team of Joe and Tonia Fish have been deeply intertwined in the Miami Valley’s foodie scene for several years, mostly in and around downtown Dayton, where they own and operate The Chef Case at the 2nd Street Market.

>> The 12 best restaurants in Dayton

Joe Fish has served as executive chef at The Racquet Club in downtown Dayton and, a decade ago, at the now-defunct Pacchia restaurant in the Oregon District. In between those stints, he served as head production chef at the University of Dayton, where he also oversaw a $4 million upgrade to the Virginia W. Kettering residence hall’s food-service operation. 

Tonia formerly served as the co-founder of Synergy Incubators, a non-profit aimed at offering certified commercial kitchen support services and programs, and she now serves as revitalization strategist for the city of Fairborn, where she and other city officials have launched Spark Gluten-Free, Phase I of Spark Fairborn — a kitchen incubator aimed at serving food businesses and entrepreneurs. Spark Fairborn, the larger kitchen, is projected to open its doors in July. 

>> Spark Gluten-Free incubator opens in Fairborn

Joe and Tonia Fish were our Daytonians of the Week from Feb. 14-24, and we caught up with the busy parents of two girls to find out a bit more about them. Tonia provided the answers on behalf of the couple.

What have each of you been up to lately?

I started working with the City of Fairborn this past summer, and Joe left the Racquet Club after many years to focus on The Chef Case at the 2nd Street Market. We have grown our business at the market over the past 7 years, and Joe has some great ideas for new and creative offerings. Joe has also joined our friend Jo Dyck at The Little City Cooking school in Oakwood. He loves teaching and cooking for our community at the market, and he is preparing to take the Master Chef’s exam.

What’s your current job title and duties and how did that come about?

I was introduced to Fairborn City Manager Rob Anderson to help him consider the idea of activating the old Rouch’s restaurant as a kitchen incubator. After a few months working together, it became clear that something very special was happening in Fairborn, and I was excited to join the city staff as the revitalization strategist. I’m extremely passionate about helping people build businesses that allow them to both share their passion with the world and take care of their families and am thankful that this is something I get to focus on every day in Fairborn.

>> Here’s what owner says about new bar ‘Old Mason Jar’ coming to Fairborn

What’s your favorite spot in the Dayton area?

We don’t have a favorite, but there is a theme: we love to hike and kayak and explore all the amazing parks our region has to offer. It’s lovely to me that I can stop at a place like Eastwood Lake right on my way home from work! We spend hours exploring Glen Helen and the Narrows, too. We are nature lovers.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

As a family we share two guilty pleasures: pizza and Star Trek. Joe has a saying about pizza: “It’s a chef’s dream food. It comes delivered in a box, has very little mess, you can keep the leftovers in that same box, and even when it’s bad, it is still pretty good.” When the weather is crappy, you can bet we are snug as bugs binge-watching Voyager, and more than likely, a pizza is probably involved!

Why did you decide to stay in and settle in the Dayton area?

Fifteen years ago, Joe and I met at our 15-year Carroll High School reunion. We lived and worked in New York City. A year later we were married on Valentine’s weekend at Saint Mary’s church in Dayton. A couple of years later, after our daughter was born, we decided to move back to our hometown.

>> RELATED: Why this chef’s creations are worth your time (December 2015)

We came back to Dayton so that our daughter would have the Ohio childhood experience instead of growing up in Manhattan. We wanted her to have a backyard, wildflowers and summers filled with camping trips, Young’s Dairy and lots of festivals. Joe’s mother and my parents live here in Dayton, which is wonderful because our daughter has them in her day-to-day life, and they provide a great sense of support.

What’s been your most recent professional challenge, and how did you push through the challenge?

A few years back we worked with an amazing team, working hard to make a kitchen incubator happen in downtown Dayton. In the end, it wasn’t meant to be. At the time, I tried to really focus on the fact that due to the deep need, a kitchen would some day happen and benefit from the soil we tilled.

>> Have you been to the ‘Best Dive Bar’ in Dayton yet? Here’s why you’ll love it

I never imagined I would be part of that kitchen when it finally happened in Fairborn. Seeing the faces of business owners, whose businesses were stalled for years, now busy and smiling and growing is a source of great inspiration.

What inspires you about the Dayton area?

We are grateful for the richness of culture and the arts community — our area museums, theaters, the ballet and philharmonic. There is just way too much to try to mention here. Our summer festivals provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate different cultures. I remember the World Affair from my childhood and I know our daughter will always remember participating the Dia De los Muertos parade. For the size of our town, we are truly fortunate for the multitude of ways we can celebrate culture and art.

>> Best of Dayton 2017 Winners: Food & Dining

What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?

We know that Dayton is going to continue to grow! We hope to see the local food revival continue to take root and for a master plan to integrate creative and diverse housing offerings, including some plans to utilize vacant lots and give old housing stock a new face similar to the way it has been done in East Nashville.

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Country music personality Hazel Smith has died at the age of 83

Published: Monday, March 19, 2018 @ 10:35 PM

Hazel Smith during 54th Annual BMI Country Awards - Arrivals at BMI Offices in 2006. The
Hazel Smith during 54th Annual BMI Country Awards - Arrivals at BMI Offices in 2006. The "outlaw country" journalist died in 2018 at age 83. (Photo by Tony R. Phipps/WireImage for BMI Nashville)(Tony R. Phipps/WireImage for BMI Nashville)

There are many who have played a part in the landscape of country music, many who have added their talents to the tapestry of the music genre that has had an impact on so many lives. many who have affected the history of Nashville and country music and many who have left us sooner than we would have liked.

>> Read more trending news 

One of those people is Hazel Smith.

According to “The Tennessean,” the longtime Nashville media personality passed away at her home on March 18 following “a period of declining health.” She was 83.

Declaring herself country music’s mother hen, Hazel was a fixture on Nashville’s Music Row for decades. She was a journalist when female journalists weren’t a common thing. She was also a songwriter, a publicist, a cookbook author and a television personality as host of CMT’s “Southern Fried Flicks.”

Related: Photos: Notable deaths 2018

Yet, one of her most meaningful and lasting contributions to country music is the fact that she coined the term “outlaw music” while she was working as a publicist back in the early 1970s for the Glaser Brothers’ Hillbilly Central office and studio.

“Now, it doesn’t say this in mine or any other dictionary I’ve seen, but it said that ‘outlaw’ meant virtually living on the outside of the written law,” Hazel told “The Nashville Scene” in 1997, as reported on by “The Tennessean.” “It just made sense to me, because [record producers] Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins were doing marvelous music, but this was another step in another direction.”

Soon after the news of her death was released, many in the country music community headed to their social media accounts to express their sadness over the news, including producer Buddy Cannon.

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Hazel Smith,” Buddy said. 

Hazel was a wonderful lady who was a great friend to many of us. She was a colorful, tell it like she saw it kind of a person, and you never had to wonder about her stand on something. Willie Nelson credits Hazel with connecting the term ‘outlaw music’ with himself, Waylon, Tompall [Glaser] and all the musical renegades that broke out of the Nashville music factory prison back in the 1970s. We all loved Hazel, and her presence will not soon be forgotten. Rest easy Hazel Smith,” Cannon said.

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Panic! At the Disco announces new album and tour

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:16 PM

Singer/songwriter Brendon Urie of music band Panic! At The Disco performs at The Forum in 2017. The band has announced a new tour an album.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Singer/songwriter Brendon Urie of music band Panic! At The Disco performs at The Forum in 2017. The band has announced a new tour an album. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Fresh off of a surprise show in Cleveland, Panic! At the Disco has announced a new tour and album.

Billboard reported that the album, called “Pray for the Wicked,” will be released June 22.

>> Read more trending news 

“After being away in New York for months doing Kinky Boots, I just wanted to hang out at home when I got back to LA,” Panic! At the Disco lead singer Brendon Urie said in a statement. “I was so revved up that I asked some friends to come over to my home studio to help me write about all the incredible things I’ve experienced the last couple of years. ‘Pray For The Wicked’ is my thank you to our fans and the most fun I’ve ever had making album.”

“Pray for the Wicked” is available for pre-order. According to a news release, fans who pre-order the 11-track album will get a pre-sale code for early access to tickets. Pre-sale starts March 30 at 9 a.m. local time. General tickets go on sale March 30 at 12 p.m. local time. Singer-songwriter Hayley Kiyoko and rock band Arizona will be guests on some tour dates.

To coincide with the record, the pop-punk group is going on an arena tour in the U.S. starting July 11 and ending Aug. 15

Dates for the “Pray for the Wicked Tour” are below. More information on tickets, guests and dates can be found at the Panic! At the Disco official website

July 11 -  Minneapolis at Target Center
July 13 - Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
July 14 - Detroit at Little Caesars Arena
July 15 - Columbus, Ohio, at Nationwide Arena
July 17 - Chicago at United Center
July 18 - Pittsburgh at PPG Paints Arena
July 20 - Uniondale, New York, at NYCB Live: Nassau Coliseum
July 21 - Baltimore, at Royal Farms Arena
July 22 - Toronto at Air Canada Centre
July 24 - New York at Madison Square Garden
July 25 - Boston at TD Garden
July 27 - Philadelphia at Wells Fargo Center
July 28 - Raleigh, North Carolina, at NC Arena
July 29 - Duluth, Georgia, at Infinite Energy Center
July 31 - Sunrise, Florida, at BB&T Center
Aug. 1 - Tampa, Florida, at Amalie Arena
Aug. 3 - Houston at Toyota Center
Aug. 4 - Dallas at American Airlines Center
Aug. 5 - Tulsa, Oklahoma, at BOK Center
Aug. 7 - Denver at Pepsi Center
Aug. 8 - Salt Lake City at Vivint Smart Home Arena
Aug. 10 - Seattle at KeyArena
Aug. 11 - Vancouver, British Columbia, at Rogers Arena
Aug. 12 - Portland, Oregon, at Moda Center
Aug. 14 - San Jose, California, at SAP Center
Aug. 15 - Los Angeles  at STAPLES Center
Aug. 17 - Glendale, Arizona, Gila River Arena
Aug. 18 - Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena

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Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, dies after battling heart failure

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:45 AM

Rita Owens, Queen Latifah’s Mother, Dies

After more than a decade of battling heart failure, Rita Owens, the mother of actress, rapper and singer Queen Latifah, has died.

Latifah issued a statement Wednesday confirming the news to Essence.

>> Read more trending news 

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” the statement said. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”

“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over. I am heart broken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latif‎ah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”

People reported that Latifah shared an Instagram post of her mother Wednesday night. 

“143,” she captioned the post. The numbers mean “I love you.”


A post shared by Queen Latifah (@queenlatifah) on

Heart failure, according to the American Heart Association, is a chronic, progressive condition that “occurs when the heart muscle is weakened and cannot pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen.”

Owens was diagnosed with the condition in 2004 after passing out while teaching at a New Jersey high school.

In 2015, Latifah opened up to People about caring for her mother’s heart failure. 

“We’ve learned a new us,” Latifah said at the time. “We’ve gotten a lot closer and we’ve learned each other on a whole different, deeper level.”

“As a caregiver – it’s just like being a parent, like some things really don’t matter,” Latifah said. “All the kind of frivolous things sort of fall to the side because there’s something way more important than all that. And when we go through these things together as a family, I realize, these are the important things, these are the important moments.”

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