Leave Our Dora Alone!

NEWS, PARENTING | | March 15, 2009 at 5:39 pm


It was with utter shock that I read that Dora is going to get a makeover this fall. What?  Surprised are you? So was I. I read with disgust what that change would entail.  Mattel and Nickelodeon have announced that they allow “Dora to Grow Up” this fall. Now our beloved adventure girl will become a fashionista. It makes me sick. When I was a Big Sister (part of the Big Brother, Big Sister organization) I remember them stating how little girls have few strong role models and colored girls even less so. Being a person of color and having two young impressionable daughters, this is a topic too close to my heart to not write about. To be true to Dora, if they wanted her to grow up, then they would make her have a focus on something other than appearance. There are enough Barbies and princesses out there, do we really need more of the same.

Not too long ago I blogged about Why Dora gets Mommy Niri’s vote. In a world fraught with pink princesses needing to be rescued from Prince Charming I was thrilled to discover Dora. Someone recently made a comment “I know a lot of parents like you who are anti-princesses” and that angered me. I am not anti anything, I am for strong, dedicated female role models for young girls. Nothing wrong with princesses, but I can’t understand why all need a prince to be complete. The focus on physical appearances is also what bugs me. Kids have their entire life to be obsessed with that (and yes, obsess they will) so why do we need to push that? Let my girls be kids. Let them dig in the dirt for worms if they want to (ok, I am not that fond of worms but you get the picture).  May adventure and exploration always be a part of our children’s lives.

Dora stands for so much more than Nickelodeon can fathom.  It is an icon to us moms wanting more for our children so how dare they think they can get away with this. There is a petition out there, so sign it please. Signing it may lead to nothing or it can stop this, but can you afford not to sign it? Together we can tell them to “Leave our Dora alone!”.

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  1. 1

    Totally agree!! *stands up and claps*

  2. 2
    Kelby says:

    I’m with you. I loved that Dora was an explorer, wore regular old shorts and a tee-shirt, and didn’t need a boy to get anything done. What a nice example for little girls! I can’t believe they are going the route of making her just another tramp for girls to emulate. Sad.

  3. 3
    vibha says:

    yes, i read about this one. can’t believe this. they couldn’t leave one role model alone for little girls who is not obsessed with boys, makeup, looking good.

  4. 4
    EGGO says:

    Uhh…there’s really no problem here. The Rugrats, Doug, all of these cartoons that has been on Nick grew up “with us”.

    Why are you doing a petition? Why not talk to your impressionable daughters rather than expecting the tv to do work for you?

    Here’s something to digest, your daughters will get more exposure and will be molded according to their peers in their school more than this tv show will. Take it from me, a person who was once a child who grew up with the tv practically unsupervised.

  5. 5
    Sita says:

    I think they feel girls are speaking thier minds and they are afraid of women taking over the world thats why they want to change her, on a serious note all kids stuff should be left alone. I have seen the new look and I think they should stick to the one and only Dora

  6. 6
    Rachael says:

    So what, shes less fat and is wearing cute clothes. These little girls won’t be like i need to look like this now! They don’t even look at the current dora that way, just chill everyone

  7. 7
    sita says:

    less fat do u mean a a Barbie look wanna be? what is wrong with Dora now? Its good to see kids not worried abt looks and hope to carry that out as they get older. When , when is it gonna be abt a person rather then their looks. Dora is a kid and should remain a kid and thats that!

  8. 8
    Jenny says:

    I wouldn’t mind as much the new Dora if they didn’t call her “Dora”. Why can’t she be a cousin or not related at all to Dora? Why can’t Mattel just create a new character and not change something that is so good (or can they just not come up with anything new anymore?). My 2 year old loves Dora and learns so much from her. Yes, I teach my children in my home and don’t expect it from TV, but once in awhile in our society, it’d be nice to see media support what I teach my children to value. It’s nice to see that there are other mom’s who are sick of the icons out there and who want to stand up and say enough is enough. Let’s teach our kids both at home AND in society that looks are not everything. Dora enjoys who she is and there’s never a second thought about her looks. Anybody who thinks girls won’t want to look like this new Dora whether parents want them to or not is not thinking clearly. Some girls may not be influenced, but I believe a large majority will now be influence more by what she looks like than by what she does.
    Enough is Enough, Mattel! Keep Dora as she is and think outside the box for your 5-8 year olds. We already have Barbie. We don’t need to recreate and rename her.

  9. 9
    Anonamus says:

    I think Dora looks fine. She is not sexy at all or looks like a tramp. Half the time girls dont even pay a lot of attention to what they see. I think it is also a good idea to have her change her appearance and grow up with her fans.

  10. 10
    leslie says:

    i think thoes people that want to change dora are wimps my lil sister is 2 years old and has learned very much 4rm her she has her movie scratched 4rm watching it over and over again and we showed her a picture of the teen dora and she did not like it so that means they will probably change diego too? then kids older will think she is sexy and she looks cute as a little girl this means that dora will not be a show for toddlers anymore only for teens well thats not a good idea these people should remember when they were little kids and would look up to a good cartoon person toddlers would not learn any more good things coming from a teen dora

  11. 11
    Kate says:

    I really do not understand all of the fuss. I have a little girl who is eight who dresses the same way. It is quite modest and yet fun and fashionable. What is wrong with a girl who likes fashion and yet can do anything a boy can do like this version of Dora? She is going to be teaching the older girls about the environment and still having adventures. A girl can be all she wants in today’s society, pretty and smart, fashionable and yet not afraid to get dirty and climb trees, you name it our girls can do it!

    There will always be the ‘toddler’ Dora for the toddler set, but the older girls (ages 7-10) have a void in the toy market and this new Dora is just the thing to fill it. This Dora is not revealing, teaches the kids about something positive, and looks like any other little girl her age. She isn’t being made into a teen, which is really nice; she is a girl that girls her age can enjoy.

    Right now you can choose Barbie, Bratz, Hannah Montana, or High School Musical for the most part as far as ‘dolls’ go. The American girls are great, but they only have so much product wise and are a bit costly. This Dora will be a nice fit for those of us that want a nice doll for our girls 7-10 to play with, but without all of the teenage stuff that comes with all of the other dolls I mentioned (except The American Girls).

    I don’t understand a petition against something so innocent and positive for our older girls. No one is taking away the other Dora, so why not let both of the Dora characters exist and choose the one you like best for your child? It’s not an either or situation.

  12. 12
    Ramesh says:

    I think the new character has to be named Dora purely for business reasons.

    Are we really short on names? I guess its Mattel trying to have a recession proof marketing idea – sell more products to Dora followers. The market and fans are already there. Why take risk in building a new character?

    Its about money and not about kids.

  13. 13
    Kirsten says:

    People truly amaze me. It takes one person to create a rucus. I don’t see the problem with the new Dora. She looks like a real girl now. She looks no different then my own 7 year old daughter or any of the girls that I see on a regular basis at the school where I work. I don’t understand why everyone is saying she looks trampy??? Have any of you been to Walmart lately??? They are selling clothes that look exactly like what the “new” Dora is wearing. Are we going to start dressing our girls in turtlenecks and pants all year long??? Better yet let’s put them in full length skirts and long sleeve shirts so that none of their skin is showing. I understand that Dora is mainly targeted towards preschoolers, but I think that by making her more sophisticated that the older kids will watch her and learn new things. The important thing about Dora is that she educates kids. What’s the difference between her new look and the way that Hannah Montana dresses??? And we all know that no matter the age all girls love Hannah. I understand that it is important to teach our girls no to be “trampy”, but I don’t see anything “trampy” about Dora. Have you seen Lindsey Lohan lately??? When Dora starts wearing stilettos and a g-string then I’ll be concerned.

  14. 14
    Faith says:

    I agree with Kirsten 100%! I support the new Dora as well. First, they are not getting rid of the original Dora. She will still be her cute explorer self ready to play with our youngest of daughters. We sing the songs in our house, we play with backpack, my youngest is Dora all over! But for our older girls who are out growing the Dora lifestyle (and I don’t care what you all say, it happens) I’m glad to see that there could be an alternative to the Bratz dolls! My 6 year old doesn’t want me packing Dora fruit snacks in her lunch because Dora is babyish. She does watch Dora at home, and I support that. But face it, our little girls are not going to stay little forever. As they grow up, I am glad that they can have something that can grow with them. Have any of you even seen a Dora tween episode?? Aren’t you just judging this new Dora by what you think she looks like? There is a term for that. It’s called prejudice. Is THAT what we want to teach our young girls?

  15. 15
    tracy says:

    first of all let me say what an overreaction. NONE of you have even seen the show yet and you’re already judging it?? who’s to say the new dora wont be this down to earth chick that has real problems that your daughters will most likely encounter. i’ve seen the picture of her and it looks incredibly great. in the photo, tween dora is portrayed as wholesome and intelligent. if i had kids i’d totally let them watch it. may i remind you of the transformation of rugrats into all grown up? that show was great, i grew up with rugrats and i loved the fact they grew up with me too. theres only so much you can do to shelter your kids. i mean, i watched all the princess movies and i dont think i need a man to be complete, nor am i a girl with self esteem issues who is fully dependant on men to save me in every situation. bottom line, you need to trust in your kids to use their own judjment and critical thinking skills.

  16. 16
    jujyju says:

    They are not replacing the original Dora; she will continue and remain as is. They are just creating an older, still wholesome, Dora for older kids who would probably not be watching the original anymore; younger kids can continue to watch the original. Obviously you prefer that your tweens watch Lohan, Britney, and all the other trash on tv rather than conceiving that its ok for Dora to grow up and still maintain the same wholesome image. Additionally, her look is more demure than anything eight to twelve year olds wear these days, for god’s sake its only a tunic, leggings, flats, and some accessories, oh an god forbid she wears her hair long and down.

  17. 17
    Mommy Niri says:

    So, they could not just create a whole new character? That would have been too much?

    I guess many don’t read entire articles, let her grow up but current Dora is no princess, so if she grows can she have something other to focus on that looks? Could she pretty please do something of intelligence, maybe go investigating rather than checking out malls? Please, can she?

    By creating the same character younger kids will see the older version and gravitate towards it too. Thankfully enough people understate the whole impact of this and are petitioning. You don’t need to sign it, but I will!

  18. 18
    steph says:

    As a parent I do have a few things to say to some of these other parents. First of all, this new Dora doesn’t look like a streetwalker or anything of the sort! At least not like any I’ve seen!! lol! She looks like a cute, normal 10 year old! I don’t see what the problem is lookwise? Second of all, I heard that Nick was going to keep running the younger version and the older version as well. But if they eventually stop running the younger version, so what? I grew up with the Rugrats and they grew up too. But guess what? I got over it! Shocking, huh? Third and final of all – and this is directed to the ones who are making the biggest stink – are you aware that the channels on your t.v. set change? And that you can have your children watch other programs? And that they don’t have to be Dora? Guess what parents? In this life your children ARE going to see other people and kids at school and even some t.v. characters change and maybe do some things you wouldn’t allow your children to do or aren’t comfortable with. So, seeing as how this is a fact of life and is inevitable, why don’t you use this “new dora” as an opportunity to talk with your kids and teach them the morals you believe in–instead of relying on the t.v. to do it for you. Just a thought.

  19. 19
    Christy says:

    I like what I have seen of the new Dora. She’s cute, age appropriate and a nice alternative to all of the other junk out there. I don’t think that the only reason to keep her name is financial. Kids grow up and it’s appealing to have a character that will grow with your kids. They never said she’d be a fashionista. They said she’d be more fashionable, which is entirely appropriate in the transition from preschool to middle school where girls start to develop their own sense of style (for better or worse!). Your kids are eventually going to outgrow preschool Dora, at which point you can introduce an older version who solves mysteries and is involved in community service. That seems like positive role modeling to me. I have seen no mention of a TV show for older Dora, merely the line of doll products and online activities. I’m going to wait and see what happens. It certainly won’t be worse than Bratz or Ty Girlz.

  20. 20
    Maria says:

    They are not changing the old Dora. They are introducing a new older version as the kids who love her grow up. That makes total sense to me. Now people are not against the idea of kids growing up are they? Its fundamentally healthy. How do you know that the olde Dora won’t have every one of these great qualities of curiosity and independence? If you say that looks don’t matter, then it should not matter to you that she looks different.
    I think its a great marketing idea, and a great comfort to kids to take something of their pre tween years with them to middle school.

  21. 21
    Maria says:

    I am the same person as above, but I also wanted to note that its about five to one in FAVOR of the new doll. And most of the writers are moms. Whoever the complainer here is, they just might want to get rid of this article, or at least hope Mattel won’t read this!

  22. 22
    Mommy Niri says:

    Thanks for thinking these comments make up the world at large and basing it on this. Moms,or people, who have ethics do not fear standing up for what they believe in. I have news for you, Mattel already keeps a scan on these things.

    If you make a sexier Minnie Mouse of course it affects the current Minnie Mouse even if you try to keep them apart! Understand?

    There is of course a good reason why they chose to make Dora grow up instead of creating a new character (or using maybe Diego’s current sister who already should target tweens) and it is called MONEY!

  23. 23
    Ramesh says:

    Not sure if readers know that Mattel’s Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader won the “Worst Toy of the Year” award. Rated by Mattel as appropriate for children age six and up, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll comes with the shortest of short shorts, stiletto boots, and a revealing halter top. The preposterously skimpy outfit allows children to get a better view of Barbie’s impossibly long legs and dangerously thin body.

    Read More at http://www.commercialexploitation.org/pressreleases/toadywinner.html

  24. 24
    Akira says:

    You raise your kids not Dora. How your kids grow-up is by you the parent.If you let a t.v. show predict how your child will grow-up than you yourself are the bad role-modle.

  25. 25
    Akira says:

    Nobody ever thinks about Deigo’s sister. She is of no importance.And how dare you say that mother who believe in Dora growing up have no ethics. I am a mother and i believe that the new Dora is a good thing for my 10 year old daughter. And Ramesh i thought we was talking about DORA she does not have “the shortest of short shorts, stiletto boots, and a revealing halter top” She had a dress, leggings, and flats. Something that is new hip and stylish for a ten year old.

  26. 26
    Adrienne says:

    Kelby do you have any kids and if you dont do you see girls wearing a simple shirt or dress whatever you want to call it with leggings and flats and you think that look they like tramps, if so i think that their should be some adjusting to your introspective in life. i dont think that think that mattel anything about a new boy unless ur talking about boots and he’s a monkey. There are boys eveywhere, girls that are pretty are going to have boys like them and you cant bkame the television show. What Akira said made a valid point you be the be the parent not dora. Let her her be an inspiration as a tween growing up in life still having educational values.

  27. 27
    Tiki says:

    I’m going to say this in the least words I can, because if I say more I will lash out with my acid tounge.

    The new dora is abolutely ok and you can do whatever you would llke but she will have to grow up at some point.

  28. 28
    Sam says:

    Instead of letting your children watch television, why don’t you get them out there in the real world? There’s no better education than taking your child to a butterfly garden, or learning about animals, plants, cultures etc than to do it with a loving parent.

    Don’t let the television raise your children. Do it yourself!

  29. 29
    Alia says:

    Well I dont think she needs to grow up, not many if any dolls ever do or do they? I cant think of any off the top of my head. Chatty Cathy, Betty Boop, Patty Doll, Miss Peep, Margie, Thumbelina and so on and so on never grew up. I say let Dora alone, Come on!!

  30. 30
    Noelle says:

    I am NOT in league with this new “Dora” My baby sis is in LOVE with the CURRENT Dora, not this Dora wannabe. I think that the creators are hoping that girls older than the classic audience will want to see her. I personally was attracted by these adds, but they have COMPLETELY destroyed Dora! No Boots, No animal friends, and I think they might even be deserting Diego from her shows! Hey, Dora is Dora, and she is already great in marketing if you want to look at it this way. If this new “Dora” takes the place of the ONE OF A KIND ORIGINAL then I’m gonna explode. If they were to keep making BOTH Doras, then I wouldn’t care. All I can say is, my 3 year old sis is NOT watching this grown up Dora. Why would kids under 5 want to loose the adorable missions? The animal characters? Not to mention BOOTS? I mean, I am grown up WAY past the dora stage, yet even I m tempted to watch every new Dora episode. And Alesia (Diego’s sister. I know. Im freaky with this Dora knowledge) would be PERFECT for this role, and she would be able to step into the spotlight for once. I am thinking that half these people are in favor of in only for there older kids. Look, Dora is timeless. If your kids grow up past Dora, then fine. I personally still get a kick out of her. I dont think it’s fair to take away Dora from her many baby fans, just so that kids who have grown WAY past Dora can still watch her. What if the new one dosent work out? What hapens then? I’m pretty sure they can’t just pull the time cycle backwards. This is a one way thing. No way they can just bring her backwards. And as for not letting TV raise your kids, no way you people have kids! I am a babysitter, and I know that at some points you want a break, so you let them watch TV. But, I know the new Dora dose do things like volenteer at animal shelters, so she will be still that loveable character. Hey, Dora is a great character, but this is a HUGE jump here. Maybe Mattell should take this slower. I think a NEW character should fullfill this role. How do they explain what happened to Boots and Benny and Isa and Map and Backpack? She just left? Threw them in a ditch? Mattel shouldnt do this to Dora. Besides, are ten year olds really ever gonna sya to there friends “Hey, I gotta go. Doras on!”

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