Store mannequins are not just a form for  displaying clothes. They are visual reminders of what society says the ideal woman should look like. A standard of beauty that everyone should aspire to attain or fantasize about. 
And despite the occasional curvy mannequin that pops up now, 95% of the mannequins on the market are tall and thin and they are also young and typically Anglo. What does this say about everyone else who doesn’t fit into this category? That they are not beautiful, desirable or worth fantasizing about. 
As a middle-aged, curvy, woman of color who makes her living selling mannequins, it is a little unsettling to be surrounded by gorgeous TTYA’s all day – (tall, thin, young, anglos). Not a wrinkle, gray hair  or patch of cellulite to be found on any of them.
That is why I have created Pinterest boards to celebrate the beauty of a broad spectrum of women than is typically ignored by the fashion (and mannequin) industry.  I have a boards on plus size mannequins & modelsFashions for Women over Fifty and Fabulous  that are actually worn by women over fifty and Women over Fifty and Fabulous Role Models.
In my search, I came across these 8 images which offer further commentary on our society’s images of female beauty should look like.

1 Steve Carell, Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert: How men would look if they had to pose in ads the way women are expected to

2 This ad from the Body Shop
3 Barbie’s actual dimensions: 5’9” tall,39” bust,18” waist, 33” hips and a size 3 shoe. Barbie likes her weight at 110 lbs. At 5’9”, weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexiapost4

Slumber Party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs with a book entitled “How to Lose Weight” with directions inside stating simply “Don’t eat”


4  Marilyn Monroe would be a plus size if she were alive today





5 When did size 0 become the new size 8?



6  Isabella Rossellini said this on being fired by Lancome for being too old. “In their defense, they kept me till I was 42. It’s a tradition in cosmetics, in fashion. If you ask any woman, even a young woman, they’re resentful of it. Because when you’re twenty you know that one day you’re going to be forty or fifty.



  And the fact that beauty is never represented at those ages … it’s offensive and scary. If you’re young, it’s scary. If you’re old, it’s offensive. So all the way through it’s bad news.”

How are you dealing with the fashion industry and it’s narrow standard of beauty?


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