Monday, March 09, 2009

Save Dora!

This story just frosts me:

Mattel and Nickelodeon are planning to "update" the character of Dora the Explorer -- you know, that plucky, adventurous little gal who teaches kids geography and other stuff, or at least used to back in her beginnings in educational television -- to extend the brand's appeal into the tween years.

Apart from the flawed premise behind this idea -- What? No new kids are being born and entering into the Dora demographic? -- is the subtext that being smart and curious is okay for little girls, but once they grow out of toddlerhood they need to be sexed up and dumbed down in order to be "cool."

The only thing stupider than this attitude is that of parents who, lemminglike, buy into that, literally. And I'm sad to say that you see it a lot here in the hinterlands. I was in Ann Arbor this weekend, and it's interesting to note the sartorial differences between children in Whole Foods and children down the road here at the Stop and Shop. And it's not as if age-appropriate, classic kids' clothing is out of financial reach of parents here; I can go to the local dollar store and find decent clothing I'd dress a little kid in. No; on some level rural parents are choosing to dress their little girls like hookers in training. Any sociology grad students reading this who want to explore the issues of class, dress and gender attitudes in rural America, have at it.

Anyway...if you would rather that Dora the Explorer not be morphed into Sluttina the Tween Airhead, you can sign a petition here .

And after we've solved this problem we can attack the same corporate mentality that tries to turn smart, curious, adventurous little boys into dumb, lazy, disrespectful slugs whose asscrack-hugging jeans are perpetually glued to the sofa as they play antisocial video games. Watch out, Diego...R&D is coming after you next.

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