Can't a cartoon character at least be ageless? Answer: No. Nor can she just be a cartoon character. Next fall, Dora the Explorer may be trading in her androgynous bob and shorts for big hair, pumps and a miniskirt.
An actual doll will be part of the new version that Mattel says it will create for tweens. The younger, more innocent version will still be around, however. (Search for "Dora grows up.")
The only early evidence of what the new Dora would look like was a silhouette Mattel released as a teaser. That was all some needed to raise their voices. (Search for the silhouette.)
But just last week, the new Dora was revealed. (Search for more.)
Parents are PO'd. And a petition is circulating to pressure Mattel and Nickelodeon to reconsider. In it, petitioners ask, what's next: "Dora the fashionista with stylish purse and stilettos?"
It might not be so troublesome if the little Latina weren't seen as such a role model for kids. (Search for more.)
Among Dora's new features are some contemporary skills: shopping and makeovers. Plug her into the computer to change her hair length, jewelry and eye color.
Let's just hope Dora doesn't show up on one of those sites about bad plastic surgery.
And don't forget, Dora isn't the only doll trying to enter the modern world.
An ageless Barbie celebrated her 50th by getting tattoos. (Search for more.)
Strawberry Shortcake ditched the candy for fruit and a cell phone for a makeover described as "berry disturbing." (Search for more.)