Ever see a mannequins in a store window like these two senior citizens?
Betcha have not. Even if you shop in a store that sells products specifically geared towards seniors you still won’t see these mannequins. The public wants fantasy images in mannequins – which means not only must they lithe and tall, but also youthful looking. No wrinkles or gray hair allowed.
The fashion industry created the myth (so we can buy beauty products) that aging is ugly. Women with gray hair, wrinkles and sagging breasts are technically “non-existent” in the fashion industry. And since mannequins are an extension of the fashion industry, a senior citizen style mannequin is the equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster. You will see a plus size mannequin (another rarity) before you see a senior citizen mannequin.
Ask yourself these questions: How “old” would a woman be that looked like the mannequin below? Do you find her unattractive? Would you want her as your customer in you store?
Ralph Pucci International designed this line of mannequins but the only retail chain we have seen them in is Nordstrom – over 3 years ago. And they were getting rid of them, which is how we acquired them. We recycle hundreds of mannequins a year from retail chains and we have only had 3 of these senior mannequins in 10 years of being in the business.
Fortunately there are two organizations, Beyond the Catwalk in London and About Face in San Francisco involved in advocating for more realistic body images for women in the media and fashion industry in particular. Someday a woman with curves on her body and wrinkles on her face will be considered beautiful.