Dora and beyond blue eyes

You know, I love Dora. Dora the Explorer, I mean. She is hispanic, dark haired, cute, adventurous. Thank God for her, I think sometimes. I grew up in India as you can tell from my articles on H4 Visa and life here.

But all my dolls at that time – at least the fashionable ones, bought at nice toy stores – were blonde and had the cutest blue eyes with lovely curling lashes that swept up and down. Their skin was white or pink and they wore pretty gowns and natty mary janes. I gave name American names – Sara and Jane over a Neeta and Geeta. And I dont know if this had anything to do with it, but for a while, in class 2 or 3, I would pretend that I had blue eyes too. And sometimes I would pray – let me develop blue eyes over the holidays along with cute golden curls. How surprised will the world be when I return from summer vacation.

The thing is, because I was in a relatively uniform world – all Indians, all black haired and brown eyed with an occasional abberance, I think it was Ok. My aspirations to become blonde and blue eyed had more to do with my dolls, and the anglo Indian teachers at my convent with their panty hoses and short skirts. So much more glamorous than my mom’s Sari!

With a daughter here it would bother me more. Here we are a minority. So I fear she may feel the need to become more ‘caucasian’ or blonde in appearance. Or she may feel at a disadvantage because of her looks.

I am sure there are ways to stop this. And maybe naively, thats why I will feed her Dora on her TV diet. And get her dolls with all skin colors to play with and all kinds of faces.

Of course, I as a mom am supposed to be the confident role model. I will try, but am seriously not so sure of myself. Becuase I am too lax. I dont care much about dressing and that shows. What if my girl is a girlie girl and loves to dress? Who will she model then.

I am glad I live in a part of US which has many multi cultural families. I dont know why that should matter, but I think it shows that people are equal in some ways.

What do you all think?

Last 5 posts by Amrita Bakshi


  1. Lisa

    Concept of what is beautiful is more influenced by culture and time. Every culture defines “beauty” and others blindly follows the concept. In ancient china the 4 inch lotus foot was considered a sign of perfect beauty. They even broke the bones of the girls and performed foot-binding in order to keep the feet small!! Persians and Egyptians gave more importance to sparkling eyes, while as in england corsets were essential for a beautiful woman. Prior to the 15th century, dark hair and dark eyes were considered beautiful. The resnaissance period changed this and brought in the blonde hair and blue eyes. It is very interesting study to see the evolution of beauty in the history of man(woman) kind.

  2. winfried

    Amrita, Now a days that Blond thing is not as important as before even here in the US. I have two daughters, One blond, my oldest, and one black haired, my youngest, she is so happy and proud to be “Morena” . I love to have two daughters that are and look so diferent!


  3. Amrita

    LIsa, thanks for your comment. Yes, the evolution of beauty is interesting. Winfried, I agree with you – thats why I like dora!

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