Dora the Explorer’s ‘Tween’ Makeover

Dora the Explorer has grown up and this is her new look.  She’s now at middle school and has moved to the city for all new adventures.   My first instinct was to scream at my computer and curse toy marketing people everywhere.  Then I thought about it a bit and I don’t think I’m going to mind Dora’s new makeover.

Here are my reasons

1. She doesn’t look like a Bratz, her clothes are modest and non slutty.

2. All girls have to grow up, Miss L grew out of Dora about a year ago.

3. Umm there aren’t any really good female TV role models for the 5-8 market. I can’t think of one?

4. I refuse to let my daughter watch Hannah Montana/She’s So Raven rubbish. I don’t want my 6 year old talking like a 14 year old Disney Starlet.

That said I just showed Miss L the new picture and she said she likes the old one better.   So maybe I have nothing to worry about for a while.

What do you think of the ‘new’ Dora?

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  1. I just showed this pic to Heather who recognised her as Dora and said she looked pretty. I think she looks OK not too tarty like some of the other characters, we do not subscribe to the Bratz school of marketing. Hopefully she will continue to be a positive role model for that age range. In some respects a good way to move her forward and allow the children to still share in her experiences.

    1. That’s how I think of it. I like the idea that Lily can follow her adventures as a slightly older child. I’m just relieved that they haven’t gone the ‘Bratz’ route to age her.

  2. I’m a bit peeved. Her hair’s not practical for exploring and I don’t like that she’s gone all pink and purple and has earrings. By all means make her pretty but I liked the fact before that her clothes were real explorers’ clothes (kinda).

    And I hope she still goes exploring while she’s in the city. It’s not just that there are no role models for growing girls, there are also no girl role models at all who are adventurous, brave and sporty but still attractive and fun. I already feel that my 4 year old is having to choose between pretty and girly or adventurous and tomboyish when it is perfectly possible to be a pretty, adventurous GIRL.

  3. I had no idea. I’ll have to check that out. I completely agree abt steering clear of the Bratz/Hannah Montana/too old too fast scene. My daughter’s classmates play HS Musical on the playground at recess and it makes me want to pull my hair out.

    My gal is really in the reading the Rainbow Fairies, and although some of them show their belly buttons (not sure why they had to go there), they seem to be benign and we enjoy reading them together. I think they originated in the UK (??) by Daisy Meadows.

  4. Probably a good marketing move, but I kinda liked her the other way. Now she looks like girls think they should look long straight hair, slimmer, etc..

  5. i like the new Dora. She looks like by co-workers little sister. The long hair and her clothing.
    I think she will continue to make a good roll model that any girl can be fun, sassy, pretty, witty, adventurous and still be a tom boy.

  6. Having no children of my own, I really don’t know. BUT I have heard lots of good AND bad about the Dora from my mom friends! I like your perspective though! I’m trying to think back on what I liked when I was that age. I liked Barbies but wasn’t allowed to have them. I think I was into paper dolls and my big baby doll – you know, the one who’s named changed every day depending on my new best friend?! LOL
    ~angela @ peonypatch

  7. Hi – saw this post and although my daughter is now in university I still like to peek into the culture around us and see what’s what. I heard the Dora debate on CNN of all places! Here’s my 2 cents: some things don’t seem to change much – I remember long ago thinking how odd every male character in a Disney film all looked alike – where was there any diversity? But from what I have gleaned over watching our daughters & sons grow up, I don’t think you will all have much to worry about – it all is a mixed bag by the end if you know what I mean. When ours {my neighborhood kids} were in grade one – I remember being a little shocked when I realized just how some children’s exposure to certain behaviours like flirting really seeped into their conscience from being in a family with older siblings – its not something easily contained. When one of our grade one girls came to school for Halloween dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast – she trounced around like a little Scarlet O’Hara batting her eyelashes at several boys – lol! It was funny as well as an eye-opener as I watched her being coy all morning. She was lapping it up! But then again, she had a teen sister and 2 older brothers and some of that just couldn’t help but filter down to her. The worst thing we saw in our day, was when every boy was karating chopping each other thanks to the Ninja Turtles! What an issue that was back then! Daycares were up in arms! Next up were some of the most protected kids on the planet – and today, they are all about the same – they each have new and fabulous lives but each one has a cross to bear with some problem or another – so that like I said, they are doing the best they can – almost in spite of what we did along the way to help them out! They are great kids – most came from homes with caring parents – and a few came from more challenging situations but their friends helped them along the way too. So the jury is still out on how they will all turn out, but whether too much Sailor Moon or lack of it had much impact – I can’t say – we’re too busy figuring out summer jobs! 🙂 Don’t worry – the biggest role models are you!

  8. I don’t have kids, but gasped when I saw this new Dora you’ve unveiled to me! I guess I can appreciate that she’s growing up (and in a non slutty way, lol!). But…will kids someday be watching a 42-year-old Dora explore? I think not. 🙂 I say they should have kept Dora as she was. But hey; that’s me.