Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dora grows up

First it was that little Tramp Hannah Montana stripping down for the provocative poses in Vanity Fair. Next, Barbie got all dolled up with tattoons and fishnet hose. But this time, they've just crossed a line.

Crossed a line, my friends.

I cannot believe what I've read about Dora the Explorer. Seems like Mattel and Nickelodeon have seen the writing on the wall. Bazillions of Dora fans are growing up and leaving their Golden Girl behind. What do I mean by Golden Girl? I think I can sum it up in one simple word: Royalties.

Quite simply, there is more Dora merchandise on the market than a child could ever hope to own, or that a mere mortal parent could ever hope to afford. Videos, games (electronic and otherwise), doll houses, dolls, panties, t-shirts, dresses, pajamas, pencils, sheets, backpacks, cereal. Hello!! Dora even has her own soup and fruit snacks. The list goes on and on and on.

And every time some dumb adult plunks down their credit card to buy this licensed crap, Mattel and Nickelodeon get their piece of the action.

So, the same brain trust who brought us Tattoon Barbie and Jamie Lynn Spears as Zoey 101 (even after she done went and got herself knocked up), Mattel and Nickelodeon are proud to announce the new and improved, more grown up Dora. Click here for more info. Go ahead. We'll wait.....Introducing Skanky Dora.

So, now Dora is going to be all grown up and living in the city. Does that mean sleepovers with Diego's friends? All night pub crawls with her BFFs? Will Boots, Map, and Isa be replaced by Stilleto, a TomTom and the Artist Formerly known as Prince? I'm confused. And terrified.

Moreover, do I need to be concerned that next we'll see Grown Up Dora training bras, tampons, or God forbid, our Little Explorer's First Condom set?

And what in the world happens for that next round of little girls? Who becomes their hero, the girl who solves problems and makes things happen? Does the Dora we know and love just cease to exist, replaced forever by some trash talking tween and her merry band of hoodlums?

Do I seem a bit sensitive about this? Well, yes, I do. My kid has loved Dora for as long as I can remember. Well before she ever learned to use her words, she sat transfixed in front of the television, hanging on to every word Dora said. She's learned most of the Spanish she knows from Dora, and she totally gets it that when you don't know where to go, you look at a map.

Believe me, I get it. Selling stuff is good. And selling more stuff is even better. But why can't these guys keep anything holy? Let us keep this sweet little chica as she is now. Adventurous and helpful, with her little round belly and her mismatched clothing. She teaches good lessons - help others, be nice, use your good manners. Please, Mattel, don't trash that by letting her grow up.

If you want a new hero for our daughters as they get older, please hire some new college grad who can't find a job and let him or her come up with a new concept. Or better yet, hire some unemployed parent who has lived with a tween. Those people need jobs, and our little ones need their heroes. And when they get a little old for their childhood heroes, they need new ones. Not just older versions of the ones they've always known. Let's roll out a whole new character with her own set of friends and her own agenda.

Maybe I am mourning the passing of Dora's childhood because it represents for me the changes ahead for my own daughter. She'll be headed off to Kindergarten in the fall. And before I can blink an eye, she'll be on her own in the big city. Given a choice, I will always keep this image of my very own Dora in mind.....LittleG as Dora, Halloween 2005.

Don't do it, Mattel. Don't replace that little round bellied baby with her orange shorts and her pink shirt with a super sexy hip and trendy city girl. Just don't do it.


Chad and Mary Kate Martin said...

Well Chad and I laughed and laughed (trying to figure out what line we thought was funniest) and then we got kind of sentimental. Nicely put my friend...now if only Mattel will only listen!

M--- said...

I agree! Don't let Dora grow up, Mattel. Assign a flunkie to create a tween queen who makes good decisions, wants to do her homework, knows right from wrong, texts responsibly and not excessively, helps around the house, and overall is just a great kid. It's bad enough our real children have to grow up, don't make Dora! ;o) (Cutest pic, btw!)