Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why Are Mannequins So Creepy?

If you like 80s movies--"Tourist Trap" is seriously good. I have it in my collection. The mannequin element is freaking creep-o-rama!



Why do mannequins unsettle us so much?



As a kid, I remember wandering off at Montgomery Ward (yes, that does date me, doesn't it?) I would grab onto a woman's purse and follow her and not look up. Since I had facial amnesia, looking at people's faces meant not that much to me. I needed to see their clothing, hear their voices or see them in a place I expect to see them, like my brother in his bedroom or my teacher in our classroom. So, I would grab a purse that looked like mom's and follow the woman until she noticed someone holding her purse and turned me around and took me back in search of my mom. One time, I grabbed a mannequin's purse and stood there patiently waiting for her to walk. My mom came along and laughed when she saw me holding the mannequin's purse. I looked up, saw the plastic face and screamed and cried.



There's actually a syndrome (uncanny valley) in which a robot becomes too human-like and then it goes from being trustworthy to frightening.



Let's be honest, have you ever stared at a mannequin and felt sure it might move and then sure that if it did move, you would totally lose it and run like a pussy? I used to dream of being a window dresser. There was a cool movie called "Lady Beware" with a young Diane Lane starring in it. I wanted her life. She lived in a big warehouse apartment that she decorated with mannequins and displays and then designed windows for a department store and had free run of the place, designing anything she could dream up, controversial and cool. I always thought living with mannequins would be cool and I think part of it dates back to my modeling days. I actually modeled as a mannequin in a store window one time. Now, they have my total respect; it is not an easy job.


"Lady Beware"

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