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.
Adventures every morning and every evening take place on the Nick Jr. cable channel. These adventures vary in locations, events, and discoveries. However every episode encompasses one enthusiastic Latina, Dora the Explorer. Her short hair and large eyes perfectly arranged above an everlasting smile, are found on cups, cakes, shirts, and shoes in every American state and even in the United States’ Provinces, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This seven-year-old has surpassed whimsical fame and has transformed into a international icon. Her brown-faced smile has entered her audiences’ hearts, although her innocence does not sit serenely amongst some of the American spectators. As they watch the multi-lingual show they find themselves trying to label Dora’s gender and identity. The gender boundaries are confused because her name is Dora, and she wears pink, and yet she has no bows in her very short hair, and she continuously saves the day in her plain white tennis shoes. These thoughts gyrate in the concerned adults’ minds, whom repeatedly ask themselves “Why is Dora so characteristically male?” But when Mattel produced a “tween Dora… [with] long, flirty locks” and a more feminine style of dress, the parents wildly protested against Dora’s affirmed femininity (Lauren At Parenting.com). As they focus on her characteristics, they then try to identify Dora with a culture and ethnicity, in order to typify her character. The judgments are made based on the Spanish she teaches to her pre-school audience, the Latin music that accompanies her on every one of her adventures, the traditions and locations that she portrays while on the explorations, and the architecture of the buildings within the episodes. These elements help Americans to recognize Dora as a Latina, they want to discover what Latin country she is from. However the shows have “always been ambiguously constructed” so Dora does not have a specific Latin origin. This has been intended to avoid conflict within Latin Countries, yet the conflicts were unavoidable in the United States (Fisher). Dora the Explorer found herself deeper into controversies, as her character was, and is still, questioned about her American citizenship status and her financial abilities. Numerous spoofs have been created around these two stereotypical factors, showing images of Dora climbing across the American border or receiving food stamps from the American government. The Americans perform these feats of discontent, because they feel threatened byDora’s elements of hybridism amongst Latino cultures and the culture of the United States, as well as Dora’s impediment on American cultural integrity.
Pasted on infants’ bottles, toddlers’ easy-ups, preschoolers’ T-shirts, and kindergartners’ backpack, backpack(s), Dora the explorer has been an emblem of cultural syncretism, but her educational purpose — to celebrate multiculturalism — has developed an ongoing controversy about maintaining the cultural integrity of gender, race, and social class in America. The makers of Dora the Explorer blur American gender roles by portraying Dora as a seven-year old female with short hair who wears plain T-shirts and shorts and who asks millions of preschoolers to join her in heroic adventures. In the fall of 2009, the makers of Dora gave her a matured feminine appearance solely to market Mattel toys and computer devices to the immature female population of western civilizations (“Dora Grows”). Moreover, Nicole Guidotti-Hernández, from the University of Arizona, concluded that “immigration, migration, and settlement in the multiethnic Latino Diaspora,” are emulated through episodes of Dora the Explorer (Guidotti-Hernández). The Latino Diaspora is re-created in the language, music, colors, and architecture that exist in every Nickelodeon Production of Dora the Explorer. However, Dora does not cross only Latino cultural borders. She also brings English-speaking culture to France, Russia, and Africa due to exported programs. Furthermore, Dora the Explorer highlights issues of social class. Dora and her family’s style of attire and architecture unintentionally portray Latino culture as uniformly impoverished. Therefore, American audiences of the television show might conclude that Latinos are inferior to the Anglo-American and African-American populations (Simpson 76). The character of Dora is not simply made by composing a colorful graphic, she is an icon of cultural hybridity.