Clothing mannequins are weird whichever way you spin it ― they’re headless! They’re probably watching you! ― but they’re something of a necessary evil in retail to display how featured articles of clothing hang on, well, a human body. Unfortunately, this “human body” is usually a pretty terrible representation of not only how the clothing looks on, but also an actual human body. Maybe a select demographic of those shopping at any given store have those kinds of dimensions, but the fact is that the vast majority of people don’t. You might know this already, but human beings come in all shapes and sizes, so the concept of a plus-sized mannequin in a plus-sized store has the potential to be a positive development. If it’s done correctly, that is.
Yesterday a Reddit user by the name of ReddityDoopity posted the above picture, titled “Anyone else horrified that they make obese mannequins too now?,” to the online forum. Following the initial negative buzz, she reached out to the media and said that she posted the photo as a place of satire after seeing a post about extremely thin mannequins being “disturbing.” She flipped those claims on their head; unsurprisingly, readers reacted in the same way toward the obese version. But I have mixed feelings ― I think the photo is disturbing, but not because of the size of the mannequin’s body. It has a tiny head! The face is fucking creepy! Is it supposed to be modeling clothes for men or women? Plus, there are some traditional thin mannequins in the background of the frame that look pretty disturbing themselves ― and not because of their weight, in one direction or another.
Regardless, the subject matter raises an interesting point: should we be catering to all body types when we try to show how clothes look on a frame, or is any mannequin of any size so unrealistic that we should just leave ‘em be? [Huffington Post]