Because who is perfect?

Dearest readers, I feel I must admit something: I do not like to shop.

I don’t like crowds, and I especially don’t like dealing with the crowds at malls. If I could just shove money at someone to buy me jeans that fit (since I seem to not do a great job at that on my own), I would. But of all the things that annoy me about shopping, I have to say: I especially do not like spending money on clothing that doesn’t look anything on me like it did on the mannequin.

The use of mannequins is an age old practice in stores to show off clothing at its very best — tiny waists, clothing pinned behind the back, blank painted faces and looking the epitome of fashion perfection. I, like many people, come nowhere close to those measurements and ideals.

Should this make me feel bad? Not at all. My body may not be perfect, but it does what I need it to do and I am grateful for what I have.

If more companies had practiced body diversity while I was in high school, it would have saved me several angst-ridden teenage years feeling uncomfortable in my body. But change is in the air. Earlier this year, Swedish store Åhlens revealed new mannequins much closer to the average woman’s body shape, and H&M has stated they are considering following suit.

It’s a wonderful step towards celebrating all types of bodies, but what’s really amazing is Pro Infirmis in Switzerland. Pro Infirmis is an organization for people with disabilities, and they created a series of mannequins based on real people. Jasmine Rechsteiner, for instance. She’s a Miss Handicap winner who has spine malformations. Or how about Erwin Aljukić, an actor with brittle bone disease.

Models and their mannequins

Models and their mannequins. Picture from www.ProInfirmis.ch

Last week, the mannequins were placed in the front windows of shops on Zurich’s main downtown street, Bahnhofstrasse, in honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. The campaign was called “Because Who Is Perfect? Get Closer,” and it’s exciting to see the beginning of an open dialogue about what really is a perfect body

Click here to see the process that went into making these unique mannequins. Perhaps one day in the near future, we won’t be disappointed when we try to look like the mannequin in the shop window.


 

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