Mannequins are Evil

January 18, 2011

I hate mannequins.

They size you up with cold, dead eyes. They adopt slouching, lounging positions in an attempt to put you off guard… when they’re not overtly defiant, hand on hips, secure in their own invincibility.

I almost don’t know which ones are worse: the kind with “natural” colouring and flat, painted eyes, or those with featureless, black-or-white ceramic skin. Neither look human, which is ironic, since they’re trying to sell the image of what you would look like if you bought their clothes. No… no mannequins have anything human about them.

My distaste… no, my loathing of mannequins started early. Then, it took the form of a simple, concrete belief that they would come to life, drag me to a secret back room, and either eat me, or worse, turn me into a mannequin.

Even now, I get jittery when I see a gang of them clustered together.

Obviously, I know in my rational mind that mannequins aren’t going to devour me, or force me to join their unholy ranks (forget the zombie apocalypse- the day the mannequins rise against us, I’m heading for the International Space Station). So what gives?

I keep coming back to their artificiality. There is something inherently creepy about things that look real, that are meant to pass for real, but aren’t. Like when you have “whipped dessert topping” instead of real cream that has been whipped. Mannequins are supposed to show the way clothes would look on us, right? But, as I’ve mentioned, they look so inhuman, I think that kind of fails.

Even scarier, sometimes people look at them, in all their frigid, perfect glory, and want to emulate them, or at least their looks. They want to model themselves upon our models. Having a “role model” is great, but I feel like your role model should at least be something real. A real person, with qualities beyond the surface, who isn’t hollow on the inside.

Mannequins are empty, soulless. Life should be about the opposite, about depth, and feeling, and immersing yourself in the experience of living. Not standing off to the side, stiff and expressionless.

So maybe they’re not going to eat me. But perhaps they do represent a tendency to look to the surface alone, to get that nice, clean “sheen” without worrying about all the messy, interesting, real stuff beneath.

And in that way, maybe they can make you one of them.




  1. I’m creeped out with most non-living things with eyes…dolls, mannequins, etc…because I am never comfortable with how they stare…I hate that they don’t have a soul and probably think mine would make a nice snack.
    Just letting you know, you are not alone, friend.

  2. The Old Navy commercials with the well-dressed mannequins attending and throwing parties always make me smile.

    But the USPS commercial with the Clown that needs to be returned . . . aargh! Keep it away from me!

    Great post!

    • Those mannequins aren’t as bad, but I still wouldn’t necessarily trust them. 😛
      I haven’t seen that commercial. Not sure if I should look it up or not!

  3. When my niece was five she disappeared in a store. After store lock down, security, police, etc., she was found on a dais emulating a mannequin. My brother said he’d run past her multiple times but didn’t notice her as he’d never seen her hold still before. Don’t think she has since, either and she’s in her 20’s. But for that brief moment she wanted to be frozen. Now every time I pass one I have to sneak a look to make sure it’s not really alive…

  4. This is awesome because my novel just published has a terrifying scene where there is a jumble of naked mannequins from the 1960s (when they were super-realistic) in the basement of a formalwear shop. Imagine being trapped in such a place, and then the lights go off!

    • I would, but then I’d probably have nightmares. 😉

  5. They’ve always scared me, too. XD Reminds me of a Goosebumps story of crazy dolls…

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