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Yaqin, Amina (2007) 'Islamic Barbie: The Politics of Gender and Performativity.' Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress Body and Culture, 11 (2). pp. 173-188.

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This article explores the significance of a new Muslim lifestyle doll called Razanne who is being marketed over the internet as a role model for Muslim girls living in the West. While the doll is presented as an alternative to hedonistic Barbie, it bears a striking resemblance to her and participates in the same consumer culture. In contrast to Barbie, Razanne's sexuality is downplayed and she has a headscarf (hijab) and full-length coat (jilbab) for outdoor use, which are designed to encourage modesty and emphasize her Muslim identity whilst at the same time allowing space for following the latest fashions for indoor wear. The doll participates in the creation of a normative visual stereotype of the Muslim, which has emerged both out of Western stereotypes of Muslims, and the self-stereotyping that occurs amongst Muslims living in Western contexts. In minority contexts, Muslims feel obliged to perform their Muslimness through dress and other actions. Razanne, it is argued is a stereotype of a stereotype. She participates both in the homogenization of a transnational Islamic identity and the conceptualization of a global Islamic community (ummah) that are taking place over the Internet.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Centre for English Studies [closed]
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Gender Studies
ISSN: 1362704X
Copyright Statement: © 2007 Berg. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Berg Publishers and later Taylor & Francis in Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress Body & Culture on 01 Apr 2007, available online:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 27 May 2008 15:28

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