Monday, March 9, 2009

Tszujing up Dora or just another Bratz incarnation ??

Let it be known - Gigi & Lulu LOVE Dora the Explorer. We have DVD's, we have t-shirts with Dora on them, we have pool toys and dress up dolls. We even have a Dora the Explorer mobile phone upon which I downloaded off the Internet "Ola, Gigi" in Dora's voice. In a nutshell, Dora & her sidekicks Boots, Diego et al, are more than welcome in my house, being good role models for children, teaching them problem solving, geography, process of elimination, some Spanish language skills ...the list goes on. With her Suri haircut and casual shorts and t-shirt, the most bling Dora can be accused of wearing is a simple bracelet on her right arm. For Dora, life is simple & fun, as it should be for children. In fact the most stressful decision she has to make is usually whether to go over a bridge or under it. Basically Dora is your everyday girl, with no reason for parents to be concerned about her brainwashing our little girls with body issues or forcing other adult issues on them.
Until now.
Mattel has announced that Dora is getting a face lift. Coy on the details, we have been given a preview in silhouette - obviously so as to create the buzz that blogs such as mine are having as we go into overdrive discussing the pros and cons. The general consensus - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Ok, let's break it down. Her hair has grown out (is this some subliminal message that to be attractive, you must have longer hair?), she has graduated from shorts and sneakers to mini skirt & ballet flats (some would say a natural progression for tweens but how will this impact the littlies?) and has generally given in to peer group pressure for a, and I quote, "new fashionable look". How sad that they have forced Dora to be a superficial fashion victim when we all thought she would go on to navigate around and/or travel the world, problem solving and charming everyone she met along the way. She would make a fantastic UN ambassador, not brand ambassador for some fashion house. Needless to say, I eagerly await the unveiling of the updated Dora the Explorer and as I mentioned in comments I made on this topic on one of my favourite blogs, mamamia, I can embrace this new Dora provided she is true to the original and continues to provide my little girls with an anti Paris or anti Britney role model that they can aspire to be like.
Any sign of excessive make up, superficial jewellery (belly rings and multiple piercings), cleavage or an ounce of "Bratitude", it will be adios Dora the Explorer...

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