Glad I Saw It: Healthy Mannequin

Walking up Bloomfield Avenue on Saturday, I noticed something quite odd in the window of Johari, a lingerie and swimwear shop on Bloomfield between N. Fullerton and Glenridge Avenue. I actually had to get right up to the glass to be sure it wasn’t the sparkling sunlight distorting my vision.

Do you see what I saw?  I mean, can you tell?

It’s pretty subtle, but to an eye used to seeing ultra-thin representations of women in store windows, this took me aback.

The middle mannequin, despite being utterly hairless and faceless, looks like a regular person.

She’s still slim, I’ll grant you that. But she looks like she might be a size six or so, not a size zero or a baggy size two.

Here, take a look at other angles in the other two photos:

Healthy bod, but stand up straight!

This mannequin looks like people I know! Yes, she has that space between her thighs that I have coveted since I was in the sixth grade, but her arms look soft, not angular. And her calves are actually THERE – on her legs!

Next to the sweatered mannequin, you can really see what I mean.

Like I said, it’s a start.  And I’m no prude when it comes to advertising and marketing.  I don’t pretend that I want to see ME – actually ME – in ads and shop windows.  My just-barely-out-of-petite-height frame doesn’t hold clothes elegantly combined with my just-barely-A-cup-chest and my double-happiness-thanks-to-two-gorgeous-kids belly.  It just doesn’t.

Still, it’s nice to see a mannequin that reflects something other than matchstick thin women.  These women exist.  And it’s no piece of cake being on the very thin side of the scale either; who likes having teachers call home worried about anorexia while you’re wolfing down more dinner than your (slightly) chubby sister?  Metabolism is a hairy, messy wart on self-image, isn’t it?  It’s just that if I want to buy something as revealing as lingerie or a bathing suit, I am glad to see possibilities displayed right prominently, not sagging from a hanger at the end of the rack.

I think many of us, for many different reasons, can understand what I felt when I saw this in the Johari window.  It was a little, “Huh. Nice.” And it was paired with a small smile of hope that maybe someday mannequins would come in all the shapes and sizes and shades that surround us every day.  Skipping over the stubbly-haired legs and occasional bout of adult acne would be okay.


About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to car culture, dealing with leaving a career I loved, and spouting off along the way. Do The Most Good.
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6 Responses to Glad I Saw It: Healthy Mannequin

  1. Emily says:

    wow. what a contrast from the other mannequin. the “real” one looks more like a statue. like someone trying to represent an actual human body. awesome!

  2. Lenore Diane says:

    Refreshing! I’m glad you saw it and shared it!

  3. tedstrutz says:

    I’ve not seen one like that. How perfect to have in a store window. I’m taking my granddaughter shopping for a graduation outfit… shocked that she agreed to go, busy teenagers… I’ll keep an eye out at the mall for a ‘natural size’ mannequin.

    Do you live in Chicago?

    • This is in NJ, and I’ve seen one or two others like this in stores NOT geared towards larger sizes, but far too few! It’s not like the mannequin depicts someone actually large or anything. Just more “usual”!

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