Dora’s Makeover, Part 2

Posted on March 19, 2009 at 12:00 pm

dora_new.jpg Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful comments on the new “Dora.” I promised to follow up, so here is the latest picture of what the older version of Dora will look like.
As I have said, I am keeping an open mind, but the emphasis on “cutting-edge fashion doll play” in the press release was very disappointing. The new doll will let girls “customize their doll and watch as she magically transforms right before their eyes. For example, by changing Dora’s hair length, jewelry, and eye color on screen, the Dora doll magically changes as well.” The purpose of the doll seems to be about her appearance instead of learning, accomplishing, or kindness. The release goes on, “The online world will include descriptions and biographies of Dora’s Explorer Girls™ and an immersive online world that will be tied into the complete collection of toys….Adding to the play value of the line will be a wide range of accessories (sold separately) as well as the Dora’s Seaside School playset that will work with Dora Links to expand traditional offline fashion doll play as well as to expand the online experience.” I understand that Mattel and Nickelodeon are in business, but I would feel better if I thought they had given as much consideration to what is best for girls as they did to selling as much stuff as possible.

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23 Replies to “Dora’s Makeover, Part 2”

  1. Why are people always going on and on about Bratz, Dora, Barbie or whatever child’s toy that is currently destroying the morals of our female children? I don’t hear people complaining that the action figures that boys play with give them unrealistic attitudes about what their bodies should look like. (Because most people would need steroids to get muscles like that!) No one talks about the violence that these toys promote or that these toys are destroying morals. These are all just toys and I think it’s as silly to say that Bratz hurt girls as it is to say that Spiderman is bad for boys. As for Dora… I see nothing “bad” about it.

  2. There is nothing wrong with this image.. little curls dressed like this are cute… there is nothing wrong with the morals of girls with hairbands and cute purple leggings you guys have way too much time to hate on others ideas… so not right.

  3. Thanks to all for the comments, though I suspect that perhaps one may be a plant from Mattel. Ellen, plenty of people talk about the way that boys’ toys promote violence and suppress empathy but I am not aware of any studies that show that the toys affect the view that boys have about their bodies or the importance of being attractive. If you have had a different experience, I’d like to hear about it.
    When the new Dora doll is released, I hope she will encourage imaginative play and discovery and I look forward to hearing from all of you about what you think.

  4. Nell, Wow. I’m not a Mattel plant! Actually I’m a doll collector. I only collected vintage dolls till I found the Bratz years ago. I’m not an MGA plant either.
    I too have never seen or heard of any studies showing that the heavily muscled action figures that boys play with affect a boys self image. The question is, why aren’t there any? People seem to just go insane over girl’s toys and how they affect girls body image. Why?
    There have been millions of articles on all the dangerously immoral toys put out for girls, boys playthings don’t get nearly this amount of coverage. Personally, I don’t think any of these toys hurt kids. I’m just completely dumbfounded at all the attention being given in the press and on blogs to girls toys.

  5. I didn’t say that your comment was the possible plant. But the fact that you are looking at the doll as a collector and not as someone planning to give it to a child to play gives you a different perspective.
    While there are some studies on the impact of media on boys’ body image, including the inclination toward steroids and eating disorders, and there should be more, it is overwhelmingly girls who struggle with the problem of comparing themselves unfavorably to the images they see. This is probably part nature and part nurture — I suspect they see more of their mothers worrying about weight and proportion (their own and their children’s) than their fathers. So that is why people are more sensitive to the issue with regard to girls’ toys. My concern with the older Dora is the emphasis on fashion and accessories instead of the things that occupy her current incarnation as a curious and adventuresome little girl. But, as I have said, I will keep an open mind until I get a chance to see what she looks like and how she is marketed.

  6. Why on earth are you people changing Dora’s look?????? Do you know that little kids are going to be looking up to her???!!!!??? I mean little kids, like 5 year old girls are gonna try to look like a teen!!!!!! I disprove!!!! Just letting you all know that this is a bad influence,and that this is an overruled message by me!!!! DUMB DUMBS!!!!!!

  7. Personally, I don’t see the big fuss on a little girl aging a bit and wearing a cute dress with purple leggings and adorable longer hairstyle. She happens to be cute. Are they turning her into some sexual role model? I don’t think so, maybe I am missing something that isn’t being presented heree? I don’t see this image as a bad role model and I think people are making mountains out of mole hills. If any child or adult looks around while shopping they are going to be exposed to much more than a little icon growing up. Look around people wear different clothing, different hairstyles, and yes they wear jewelry and makeup…it’s how you wear it and your morals and character that you are trying to instill in you child. Don’t you want your kids to grow up or do you want them to just stay little for the rest of their lives? So they want Dora to grow up a bit, so what’s the big deal and to think little toddlers are going to be affected by her maturing is ridiculously absurd! They didn’t give her a small hourglass figure! People grow up all the time and it is up to the parent to be selective with what they allow their children to watch. There will always be the younger version to watch on DVDs if it’s that important to you. It’s not like watching the Disney-Hannah Montana which does corrupt little minds if you allow them to watch it. I see nothing sexual about her appearance nor do I see how she is dressed is going to warp a little girl’s mind. What little girl doesn’t like to play dress up? What’s wrong with changing the clothing and trying different lengths of hair and colors of eye shadow and jewelry. Isn’t that all part of being a girl and following Mommy’s footsteps? Relax or just don’t let your child watch it if it’s that upsetting to you. I cannot believe they will have this new look for Dora strictly cater to looks only and nothing educational. There are other causes out there that needs more people to be pro-active about than barking about a changed image of Dora who still appears to be a little girl, not a teenager.

  8. ok I don’t watch Dora anymore because I am a teenager, but I like her makeover she was cute and she always will be cute no matter how they change her. I don’t know why all you guys are freaking out about it besides little kids/tweens will get used to her new look.

  9. Well on my opinion back in the day when dora was just a little girl in shorts and a shirt.. she was ok but i didnt really care about her apperence its all about wut she is teaching the kids not on what she looks like people!! I mean for being a 16 year old and all i think the new dora actually looks really cute. but because we all have to face the facts that eventually our kids will grow up and look older! Dora looks like she is only what around 12 or 11? thats ok because do you see what she is wearing? It’s not like she is wearing a sports bra and short shorts with 6 inch high heels!!! and she looks even cuter with her hair longer you have to addmit that!

  10. As a tween, i really want Dora to grow up, she has been ageless for far too long, if the old Dora is still there-regulate what your young child can see and not see. Why not let older fans of Dora see the new one and see how much a favorite cartoon character has changed. It might be exciting and refreshing to see her like this. Plus, if you think that Dora is going to be a bad influence to children because of makeover, clothes, social life- look outside and you will see the inevitable, that it is part of growing up. Whether Dora influenced it or not- it will happen.There is worse in the everyday media. I mean come on- this is a new experience, and frankly I have been waiting for this to happen, a new Dora closer to my age than ever before,(WOW)

  11. That’s not how Dora loOk like. WHAT HAPPENED TO DORA!!!!!!! she use to be ugly

  12. My daughter grew up on Dora and now she’s getting older, more out going, and more fashionable. I think it’s great that Dora is getting a makeover. She loves the new Dora and I do too.

  13. 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.

  14. Me being a teenager i think that the new dora looks fye “good” that whole bob and short and tennis shoes is way old.And they needed t update her look a lot..i mean the tv show isnt based on her stlye it’s to help kids learn a new language and what not..the dress legging and flats is pretty and to all the parents out there wh think this is a bad idea then you need to ge a reality check cause yor little girl might be wearing something trashy when she about 11 or 12..

  15. I think the new look for dora is way too old for the preschoolers such as my four year old daughter who know and came to love her.

  16. I think that she looks awesome! those parents who dont like it should realize that their child is going to be wanting to wear that stuff someday too! I think that they should make that show

  17. I am a child and personily i can’t wit till the show and game comes out i probably have an outfit like that so to all the moms tripin over this plz stop the maddness u know your kids gonna grow up some day and also i have seen way worse on a cartoon!!!

  18. i am a kid. well actually i am a thirteen year old. i just want to let you all know that i used to be a fan of Dora when i was 6 or 7 but then i kind of got bored of her. then i heard of this new look and i though maybe thats what we need. in a way i think it will make more girls like Dora for a longer time.

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