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February 26, 2009

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Comments

Britta

WOW. This is so sad. I shouldn't be surprised by this, and I guess I'm not...just disheartened. I will definitely engage in some Let-Dora-Be-Dora activism. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

And I also want to say, thanks so much for this blog in general, and for your Packaging Girlhood book! I've found it immensely helpful in my work with children; I've read the whole thing cover to cover at least 3 or 4 times now.

AP Newton

Hi, I absolutely love your blog.

I've linked to this story here http://www.apesphere.com/story/564 but I don't think it tracks back when we use our upload widget.

Rosa Åsa

I wish this were an April Fool's joke. Is there an address to send physical letters to protest this?

Rosa Åsa

Nevermind, it's on the petition. Sorry!

Talley Lach

I would love to sign your petition, but I'm not paying to do so. Please provide a free way to sign the petition.

Lyn Mikel Brown

Hi Talley,

You don't have to pay. The site is free but to maintain it as free they ask if you would like to contribute a small amount. Just ignore if you don't want to contribute. It will still register your signature. Thanks!

Lyn and Sharon

James Blunt

You are kidding right? As parent you can choose not to let your child watch or get the new Dora. If you can't control your child, you shouldn't be a parent, don't blame the toy industry. Get a life

Audra Swerres

Oh Puhleeze, this is just another "moms don't have anything else to do than trying to get into the news with some silly campaign" thing. I am a mom, and I don't let my daughters get bratz dolls or any other thing that I do not deem appropriate. But I don't go on witch hunts to get them banned, that is just rediculous.

Janine du Comptero

I agree with the last poster, this is too much. Worried about Dora? What is next, burn the books on a pyre?

Adriana Hotero

My daughter loved Dora, but is now more interested in bratz and barbie. I'd rather have her play/watch with a more mature Dora who is intelligent than the dumbed down barbie dolls.

SBR

to some of the previous posters, i don't think this is about one particular character (Dora) and is instead about the greater push to change the way young female characters look to be more, well-- flirty. Happened to Strawberry Shortcake too. Now Dora. Obviously you can choose not to have your child watch the show, but it DOES seep into the world around us. It becomes part of our media world.
My issue is: where does it end? Does every young female character have to be flirty and cutesy? Can't they just be cute and not even the slightest bit sexualized?!

Lyn Mikel Brown

That's really our concern -- that every doll is remade in the same way. Dora was a real alternative for girls not into fashion and shopping. Not every girl goes that route, but in girl targeted media it's the ONLY way to grow up. It's important for children to have a range of options, and frankly turning off the TV isn't protecting girls--not when toy marketers, internet games, movies, cereal companies, etc. are all in this together. So it's important for us as parents to push for more options for our kids. This isn't a witch hunt--it's an online dialogue and a way to relay to companies like Nick what we value and want for our children.

Lady

So because Dora is wearing a skirt, lost her baby fat, and has grown her hair out she's automatically going to become a vapid Paris Hilton type? I'm sorry, you can't accurately determine that from a silhouette...

Kids grow up. Your little girl that liked to play in the mud at age 5 is NOT going to be the same person at age 12. That's what growing up is. You gain new interests, start noticing the opposite sex (and maybe attempt to look more attractive to them), and make new friends. I find nothing wrong with any of those things. I fact, I would argue that trying to keep Dora the same teaches girls that they can't ever change and take new directions in life. There's nothing wrong with being smart, driven AND fashionable! :-)

Just because she's dressed herself up a bit now does not mean you have to hide your daughters, ladies. There is absolutely no evidence at this point that Dora is going to do a complete 360 and turn into the standard "Math is hard" female ideal.

At least wait until you see the new show before you start panicking.

Lyn Mikel Brown

We're not panicking. We are trying to let Nick and Mattel know, before Dora is made over, what we love and value about the original Dora. Better now than later so they can incorporate suggestions.

Again, the problem is not fashion per se (although of course marketers love fashion and shopping because it lines their pockets.) The problem is that tween and teen girls are into a ton of other activities that make them feel good, strong, accomplished, and smart and they will never see these reflected back to them through media.

We're moms, yes, but we're also developmental psychologists. The research is there--we know media is powerful and impacts kids -- girls' sense of self, their relationships with other girls, their views of their bodies. So can we have some options please? Dora could be the tween girl who's not all about appearance and shopping -- how refreshing.

Chris

Is she going to have bedroom eyes? Cleavage? How bad is it going to get? What kind of makeover will Diego get? Leather pants?

Let's just say we won't be watching Ghetto Dora in our house. Hopefully Nick Jr. will still play reruns.

Lazaro Fuentes

I think what you are doing is great. We created a property for girls called www.HipChicas.com and showed it to Nickelodeon. they took a long hard look passed us up last September and then announced October then announced this *New* Dora at the Toy Fair 4 months later.

We told them that they had left an important gap in between when girls they are preschoolers to when they are Tweens and that they had an opportunity to do something as good as Dora, but updated for Pre-adolescent needs.

We explained that it had to be hip and that it had to break with the hyper-consumption and hyper-sexualized model. We explained that Barbie and Bratz were vulnerable in this age of global warming and Obama. That it was a time to strike with a property that tapped into the pwerlessness that kids feel and their desire to be part of the solutions. That this was an opportunity to be redefine what is H I P as Hel Improve the Planet, not more shopping.

...They passed. We didn't and we are going live soon with HipChicas.com. Five smart, strong characters on a mission to Help Improve the Planet.

We've created a virtual world where girls can play games, collaborate with friends to make magazines to express their ideas and opinions and where they improve virtual habitats to see endangered animals begin to come back as they do.

The characters - Hip Chicas - guide girls' play and serve as role models.

Would love your thoughts...

Laz Fuentes,
CEO
Hip Venture Co.


Brief Presentation

http://www.slideshare.net/HipChicas/hipchicascom-virtual-world

Sneak Peak Inside Our Virtual World - Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WZYX3RDDrw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zc68v1kPBsw&

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7h3OwvWyvs

Recent Press

http://content.usatoday.com/topics/article/Shear%20Genius/01tS0CN6ko90K/1

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3iad46f234a7a686bacb379a798ad33b5b

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=91742

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/digital-downloads/broadband/e3iad46f234a7a686bacb379a798ad33b5b

http://www.aollatinoblog.com/2008/09/29/juegos-el-primer-mundo-virtual-latino-para-chicas/

http://commercialfreechildhood.org/news/2008/09/hipchicas.htm

http://www.techlearning.com/content/ednews/

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20512

http://www.worldsinmotion.biz/2008/10/interview_lazaro_fuentes_on_th.php

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/HipChicascom_offers_a_virtual_space_for_Latina_tweens.html

http://www.socialmediabiz.com/resource/hipchicascom-targets-tween-latinas-with-eco-friendly-virtual-world

http://www.ypulse.com/tag/hip-chicas/

http://www.whattheyplay.com/blog/2008/09/19/another-tween-girl-virtual-world-hip-chicas/

http://juantornoe.blogs.com/hispanictrending/2008/09/wwwhipchicascom.html

http://www.virtualworldsnews.com/2008/09/hip-chicas-laun.html

http://www.marketingymedios.com/marketingymedios/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003856527

Naomi

Just fyi, My generation- The college/high school kids- did not grow up with Dora.

The kids who did? Most likely in later elementary/Junior high.

Hm..is the timing to redesign her a coincidence?
>.>;

Jennifer

Spread the word to high schoolers and college students who grew up with Dora

Typo. It's TWEENS who grew up with Dora, not 14-21-year-olds. Dora started in 2000, and they were 5-11 then.

Ryan W. Mead

This is indeed a rather interesting development. It reminds me of something that happened a few years ago in Brazil to a very popular cartoon character there named Monica, who was also given a tweenage alter-ego (both versions of the character peacefully co-exist in seperate universes). I wonder if there was as much a backlash in Brazil over that as there is in America over the new Dora.

I am also reminded of when Warner Bros. announced they were making a new series featuring futuristic superheroes inspired by the classic Looney Tunes characters. A few people believed that these new characters were replacing the classic Bugs and company. There was a lot of outcry at first, but when the series premiered, it made no headlines.

We will have to see whether Regular Dora and Tween Dora co-exist like Brazil's Monica, or if the original ends up outlasting the makeover like the Looney Tunes.

gn

can anyone say rugrats all grown up?
it all depends where they go with this, it might be alright.

Liana

I've blogged about this but unfortunately the trackback is showing up. Also a Facebook group was created as well to protest this change: http://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=1095407378&k=36B22464TX4M5G1CVC5XQR

Samantha, A big sister.

At least dress her modestly! Dora is a smart girl, she doesn't need a belly shirt and a shirt that looks like a tube top!

I hate those Brtaz dolls! Let Dora be Dora!

Elena Perez

I just blogged about this at the CA NOW blog and linked to here and to the petition:
http://www.canow.org/canoworg/2009/03/dont-let-mattels-makeover-destroy-dora.html

Erin

I ended up watching a story about this on cable news (I don't make a habit of watching it but this one caught my eye). They said that the toy makers are planning on keeping the integrity and spirit of the original, and that it will be for parents that don't want their kids to "grow up so fast" (read: she won't be a skank-ho role model). Apparently the doll will be marketed with games that keep up the adventure theme. I guess we'll have to wait for the toys to come out to see how far they take it. I have a huge problem with how sexed up all the toys made for girls are now... even if it wasn't about it being marketed to little girls who shouldn't even know what sex is, even if they don't imitate them as children, it still sends the message that adult women should be hyper-feminine and sexualized. It's about the entire gender, not just children.

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