After loads of media attention to Dora's makeover, and more than 5,000 concerned people signed our petition, the Nickelodeon Press Department released a statement. But, we're not convinced.
Here is our response to Mattel and Nick:
Dear Mattel and Nick,
It’s safe to say that neither the thousands who have signed our petition nor we are soothed by the unveiling of the new tween Dora’s image. The original Dora the Explorer was unique and beloved by both girls and boys because she was adventurous, smart, and loved the outdoors. Trading her compass, map, pet monkey, and sneakers for jewelry, a dress, and the big city, means Dora isn't the same explorer anymore. The new tween Dora fits right into the narrow mold that defines too many girls' toys, and thus limits their imagination.
In the AP Wire article released yesterday, your company defined "tween" as girls 5-8 years old. Parents need to know that this is a new definition of tween – a big change from the 8-12 market originally targeted. The creation of an older Dora is a blatant attempt to go after younger girls and create a desire for a lifestyle and products parents tell us they are too young to experience. This is a time in girls’ lives when we should be introducing a wide range of possibilities and interests – not limiting their potential with stereotypes of appearance-conscious tween fashionistas.
Through the creation of a tween Dora who can change her hair and eye color to “go undercover” you have effectively erased Dora’s cultural identity - transforming what was not only a wonderful example of a non-stereotypical girl but also a strong, independent Latina character. Dora’s cultural identity is not just another accessory for your corporations to peddle.
If Dora does have to grow up, Hardy Girls Healthy Women, and thousands of concerned girls, boys, and parents think she should keep her sensible clothes and interest in problem-solving and jungle adventures.
We will continue to urge concerned parents and children to make their voices heard by signing onto our petition and will continue to contact media outlets until we are satisfied that you have taken steps to maintain the adventurous spirit of the original Dora.
Sign the petition to save Dora today.
Read Packaging Girlhood authors Lyn and Sharon's response