Wednesday, 18 March 2009

And here she is - the new Dora

As ShePop puts it:
...Yes, from the mysterious outline, the little gal known for her bowl cut and talking backpack appeared to have sexed up quite considerably between the ages of six-ish and 10-ish, with tons of long, flowing hair and a micromini.

But now the kids' channel and toy company have assuaged the masses with a fully detailed rendering of the doll (pictured), complete with tunic and leggings. Turns out that's a long shirt as opposed to a short dress. Phew. (Her hair really is fabulous, but a girl can't help what she's got, can she?) Furthermore, the corporate powers reassure us that our gal (who connects to a computer USB port for interactive games) "will expand into the world of solving mysteries that have overt and relatable pro-social themes -- like volunteerism, water conservation, or planting trees to help the environment..."
I'm wondering if this was all a marketing ploy. Or if Mattel and Nickelodeon responded to the outrage. Maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle...

Still seems to me that the New Dora looks a lot less like a real child of the given age than Original Dora does. And she's lost a lot of weight in those four years. Thinking about my nieces, who are almost 10 and recently 7, it does seem that the older is significantly skinnier than the younger, but the 7 year old has much bigger eyes, in proportion to the rest of her features, not the 10 year old.

New Dora may not be a Bratz doll, but she is certainly much more in that direction than I would have hoped. Can't see too many 10 year old boys wanting to be seen playing with the New Dora, can you?

Sombrero tipped to The Glorious T for yet another brilliant email tip-off via Facebook :-)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I miss the old Dora already, that's really sad that she had to get all prettified. My boys (2 and 4) play at being Dora and Diego (her cousin), maybe they won't be so keen now she's lost a bit of the shorts and t-shirt normalness I loved about her.

backin15 said...

FFS! Dora's a favourite for my 3 and a half year old and I'm not at all impressed. The makeover is modest by comparison with barbie/bratz but they're so ridiculously sexualised it hardly matters and this makeover's still too close to the line for me. I get that the character's developing with the cohort of kids, but I'm not sure... Dora seemed exempt from fashion and all together just a little kid... perhaps we should have seen it coming with Deigo showed up?

Craig Ranapia said...

Wow. I'd actually like to thank Mattel and Nickelodeon for this -- because it's just convinced me that resisting high-pitched, persistent youngling whinging about getting boring old books again has all be worth it.

The makeover is modest by comparison with barbie/bratz but...

...that's setting the bar so low, it's basically not having one at all? :)

Julie said...

Craig I agree completely about setting the bar low, and I was thinking about that as I wrote the post, but couldn't quite find the right words.

Original Dora is not going away, they are just having a new Dora who is supposed to be 10, as well as original Dora who is supposed to be 6. That's the theory anyway. It will be interesting to see how long Original Dora survives...

artandmylife said...

All my girls have been Dora fans. I am not imprssed by the "look" of the enw Dora. Luckily (?) my 4 year old has transferred her affections to Diego and she plays animal rescue all the time herself.

Fem said...

Craig you said it perfectly for me.

Also I can't help but think that Dora should be wearing shorts. It's more practical for the things she gets up to!

And why is she soo skinny?

Julie said...

For those interested in the comparison of Barbie and Bratz, we had a discussion about whether Barbie was still a feminist issue a little while ago, complete with a rather fuzzy (my fault) comparison graphic.

backin15 said...

"Original Dora is not going away, they are just having a new Dora who is supposed to be 10, as well as original Dora who is supposed to be 6."

That's a relief, I think, my youngest is not yet four... I've got a few years left.

Craig/Julie, I agree, Barbie/Bratz are no benchmark, but I give thanks they've not gone that far...

Hendo said...

Man, how depressing.

Of course it's not as bad as it could have been... but it's still disappointing.

On a kind-of related note, I just read a book produced for Barbie's 40th birthday (I know, she just had her 50th, but I'm living in a country that doesn't have a proper bookstore). Apparently the creator of Barbie wanted girls to have an 'adult woman doll', something that wasn't a baby, so they could think about what they would do and be when they grew up... which she didn't intend to be marrying and having babies.

This doesn't excuse the issues around Barbie's looks (and let's not get started on Bratz, yikes) but it was fascinating to hear this opinion and compare it to all the talk about Barbie and Bratz online, and how people want 'little kid' dolls for their kids now.

Anonymous said...

Dora looks cute now. I think it's is good to have kids grow up WITH a cartoon rather then move on like with elmo and the teletubbies.