CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mattel, Inc. has launched an official Eid outfit for 18-inch American Girl Dolls following a push by Chicago-based activist Yasmina Blackburn.
Eid-al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that means "Festival of Breaking Fast" in Arabic. It comes at the end of Ramadan, a holy month of prayer and fasting.
Blackburn, a longtime associate of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, first wrote a letter to the American Girl president in 2009.
She asked for Muslim representation in the doll line for her daughter. The Company responded they had no plans to incorporate Muslim holidays into their line, though they had products for Christmas and Hannukah.
American Girl decided to incorporate the Eid outfit after Blackburn's letter in 2020.
"I am thrilled to work with American Girl in making their products more inclusive," said Blackburn, "especially celebrating Muslim holidays and traditions. I worked closely with the designers to ensure the first outfit was typical of an American Muslim girl and not feeding Oriental stereotypes. I'm very happy with the results and for future Muslim items to come out of the AG line. It's important for kids to feel that their holidays are recognized at school and in the public sphere as well as on toy shelves. I am grateful to Mattel for their positive response and collaboration, my mother and daughter for their support, and CAIR-Chicago for its inspiration of my activism."
"This signals a great shift in the public eye regarding what it means to be an American girl," CAIR-Chicago Communications Coordinator Saadia Pervaiz said. "Growing up, I had no access to dolls that looked like me, let alone celebrated what I celebrated. With this clothing line, now young girls are able to see themselves reflected in their toys. Their peers will also be exposed to the multi-faceted American girl experience, which promotes acceptance in the long run."
The Eid outfit can be purchased on the American Girl website for a limited time.