Category Archives: Dora’s Baffling Gender

This section discusses Dora and her characteristics of overstepping the boundaries of gender roles.

Dora’s Feminine Makeover

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with the new Dora. I can’t understand how she looks “sexed up” She kind of looks like how my 7 year old looks. And most girls lengthen and thin out as they grow! She’s so much better than a lot of other dolls marketed to girls, as said above Bratz are horrible!(Lauren).”

“Like they couldn’t come up with another character for tweens!!! Like Nancy Drew never aged. Like they have to take the one thing our kids can identify with and age it? Barbie has been the same age since forever. Superheros never get old. But our Dora has to age? Unbelieveable. Is there a way to protest this? A way to get a petition to protest this ridculous thinking. And I am not even going to address the “Hot Tamale” aspect. Viewers can change how she looks!!!! What? Make her lighter? Give her blue eyes to make her respectable? Incredible. What do these companies have? A room full of people who are ordered to be racists and offensive to others. This has to stop. Now. We have money now. Has anyone told them that? We vote with our dollars (Bilingual In).”

In 2009, Mattel issued an interactive doll that would plug into the computer. The doll was a ‘tween’ Dora the Explorer. After Mattel released the silhouette of Dora’s new look. Parents were furious. The tomboy Dora had seemed to turn into a promiscuous Latina figurine. The silhouette made the doll appear to have long legs accompanied with a diminutive skirt, and long, flowy hair. The blog sites fired up with upset Latina mothers, who had feared that their once perfect idol for their children had been destroyed. The parents believed that this new Dora would have taken the place of the old toddler and preschool loving Nick Jr. character. Due to the uproar of parents, Mattel told the parents that the new Dora would be geared towards five to eight year olds age group and would not take the place of the beloved original bi-gender role Dora. In the image below, Dora’s hair, fashion choices, and body proportions have  changed. This ‘tween’ Dora appears to be more feminine then her seven year old counterpart. Her singing voice has also matured as the video below portrays.


Dora the Tomboy


Children embark on adventures every time they stand in front of the television set and interact with Dora Marquez, Dora the Explorer. Dora is a unique character that was developed to grab the attention of both preschool males and females, in order to teach the young children Spanish and information about Latin culture –as well as to maintain a large market for the image of Dora. The creators of Dora Marquez developed her into a curious and talented seven-year old with short hair, tennis shoes, and plain clothing –as portrayed in the photograph below this post. Dora’s behavior in the episode “Dora’s Hair Raising Adventure”, was very helpful towards others, yet assertive. In this episode, Dora counted on her map, and millions of preschoolers, to help bring the Penguin back to his home in Antarctica. Throughout the her three-step journey to Antarctica, Dora remains the confident heroine that most Americans have grown to love. Unfortunately Kingsley R. Browne suggests that “women’s self-identity and self esteem tend to be centered around sensitivity to and relations with others, while men’s self-concepts tend to be centered around task performance, skills, [and] independence,” therefore Dora’s behavioral traits represent that of both male and female(Browne, 84). Her bi-gender roles include a males sense of autonomy and a females sense of compassion. Moreover, her behaviors have received praise from Latin Feminists throughout Latin America. They believe that Dora’s lack of pride, emotional sensitivity, and confidence are behavioral traits of an outstanding woman rather than a bi-gender role figure. The Latin population also helps credit Dora for aiding with the “increased awareness of women’s rights” within Latin America and for the protection of future Latinas (Hanser, 215). Dora’s unique personality caused her to have a widespread reputation. Therefore she became the first Latina character in the Macy’s parade. Overall, Dora is a boyish girl, a tomboy, an exceptional female personality.

Dora the Tomboy