Save Our Young, Virginal Girls!!!11!1

April 23, 2009 § 1 Comment

Okay, so I was not happy when I heard that certain cartoon figures were getting makeovers. The two foremost examples of this are Strawberry Shortcake and Dora the Explorer, whose new image was only recently revealed:

Strawberry Shortcake

Dora The Explorer

They indeed look like they have progressed from being five years old to being 12 years old. Is this really what little girls want, however? I don’t think a six-year-old would really care that much, given the choice, and if these companies think that preteen Dora will attract actual preteens, then they are seriously deluded. In a world where Hannah Montana & Jonas Brothers sit at the top of the heap and Seventeen magazine is actually read by 13-year-olds, these new figures will never make it big.

Clearly, these decisions were probably driven by a desire for profit. In time, though, children will grow out of their old playmates altogether and move on to something else, although I admittedly never grew out of my love for Pokémon, heh. I really hope that they don’t try to age these characters any further, though, otherwise we’ll be seeing “Dora Explores College!” bedsheets at Wal-Mart in a few years.

Honestly, I think the makeovers are cute, if misguided. This blogger decries the new Dora as being “slutty,” but I disagree. Okay, so she’s wearing a shirt as a dress with purple leggings [ew], and new Strawberry Shortcake looks nothing like her younger [or would it be older?] self, but there’s no reason to be slinging insults like that.

The biggest issue that most feminists take with the new Dora is that she will most likely be relegated to cleaner activities than exploring forests or whatever it is that baby Dora does. Will she prove to be a shallower role model, encouraging young girls to worry less about learning Spanish & talking to monkeys and more about, uh, clothes or something? Also, what will happen to baby Dora? What will our youngsters watch so that we can shield them from early-onset body image issues that are sure to occur when gazing at preteen Dora? [I’ve heard good things about Yo Gabba Gabba, and I am always a fan of Lazytown.]

Anyway, I’m half serious, half sarcastic about this whole issue. What interests me, however, is that most of the worry revolves around young girls. Yes, children are fragile, and the oversexed nature of everything these days is worrisome, but do boys not face these issues? Or is it that companies don’t even bother drumming up scandal about male characters because it wouldn’t even get anywhere?

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§ One Response to Save Our Young, Virginal Girls!!!11!1

  • Trying to “like” this because I don’t have a well thought-out comment. Wait, I got one:

    When I juxtapose these images against those of my nieces (ages 3-8), the older versions of Strawberry Shortcake and Dora (whom they watch) are far more realistic in appearance. Real girls, especially ones as young as what these characters purport to be, look as their creators originally drew them. If the artists (or more likely, their corporations) wanted to makeover S.S. and D, why not go Hi-Def or something? Why instead sexify cartoons at that age? Adults won’t watch either way.

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