Thursday, March 19, 2009
From Yahoo! News (notice the particularly sexist headline of the article):
Mattel and Nickelodeon both say there are two major misconceptions about the new Dora, which is not replacing the "Dora the Explorer" cartoon, but will be a new interactive doll aimed at 5- to 8-year-olds.
"People care so deeply about this brand and this character," Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Products, says. "The Dora that we all know and love is not going away."
"I think there was just a misconception in terms of where we were going with this," Gina Sirard, vice president of marketing at Mattel, says. "Pretty much the moms who are petitioning aging Dora up certainly don't understand. ... I think they're going to be pleasantly happy once this is available in October, and once they understand this certainly isn't what they are conjuring up."
Part of the confusion stemmed from the silhouette that was released, which made Dora look more like a Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan than a young girl. For the record, the doll does not wear a short dress, but a tunic and leggings. And while she looks older (she's supposed to be about 10), with longer jewelry and longer hair, she doesn't have makeup and seems pretty much like a 10-year-old girl.
Well, she's not as bad as I thought she would be. Still though, why does she have to lose her androgynous style and become a tween dressed in a pink and purple (oh, that's original) flowered dress and sparkly jewelry, as if being a "tomboy" can only be a phase that all girls "grow out of"? Many girls continue to dress in t-shirts and shorts well into their teen years, and never adopt the "traditional" female style that is so thrust upon them by society.
Why couldn't Dora remain Dora, just aged a few years? How can she go exploring in a dress and ballet flats? Mattel seems to be under the impression that the uproar caused by the new Dora was out of fear that Dora, in her short dress, would influence young girls to become whores. Nu uh. While the "moms" they so ignorantly refer to might feel this way, us feminists are far more upset that this new Dora is sending a message to young girls that you can't be a "lady" while donning a t-shirt and shorts, befriending boys, and spending time exploring and learning, rather than shopping and dating. I don't have a problem with Dora growing up, but why did she have to lose all her character in doing so?