Dora the Streetwalker: Sexing-Up Dora the Explorer
Dora Falls into Marketer’s Tween-hood Trap
She’s been a bilingual world explorer and a problem-solver extraordinaire. She’s shouted, “Let’s go!” and set off with her compass, backpack, and sidekick monkey. She’s been a brave, adventurous, resourceful girl.
Now, she’s being made over by Mattel and Nickelodeon to be a lipstick wearing ‘tween. Marketers are giving Dora a complete makeover, and this time, her accessories include eye shadow rather than a map.
Hardy Girls Healthy Women have expressed that besides Dora’s makeover from kid to ‘tween, advocates for halting Dora’s makeover are concerned that the new ‘tween Dora’s ability to change her hair and eye-color transforms her Latina cultural identity into yet another accessory for marketers to sell.
WHAT THE ED’S HAVE TO SAY
Mattel and Nickelodeon recently released a statement in which they state “In the nine years she has been on television, Dora has become an important role model to many. The Latina heroine has connected with a generation of young boys and girls all around the world through her courageousness and sense of adventure. We at Nickelodeon and Mattel want to assure parents that none of that is changing.” Click here to read the AP article “After Dora uproar, Nick and Mattel soothe moms.”
Hardy Girls Healthy Women has to say about Mattel and Nickelodeons statement: “The original Dora the Explorer was unique and beloved by both girls and boys because she was adventurous, smart, and loved the outdoors. Trading her compass, map, pet monkey, and sneakers for jewelry, a dress, and the big city, means Dora isn’t the same explorer anymore. The new ‘tween Dora fits right into the narrow mold that defines too many girls’ toys, and thus limits their imagination.” writes HGHW executive director, Megan Williams, in her most recent letter to execs at Mattel and Nick.
Read the four things Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers’ Schemes have to say about the new Dora in response to Mattel and Nikelodeon in their post, “Mattel Doesn’t get it! These Moms Are Not ‘Soothed.'”
For young girls, Dora was a good role model. For that reason, Hardy Girls Healthy Women is launching a petition drive aimed at convincing Mattel to Let Go of Dora! The “Let’s Go: No Makeover for Dora” campaign wants Mattel to recognize the truth that girls don’t need one more doll telling them the point of their lives is to attract boys.