Women Are Not Mannequins

We are soft, supple and even if not Gene Tierney, far lovelier than mannequins of any make or model. And not just because we can touch, kiss and do all the things being alive allows.

Mannequins are not made to reflect our shape, nor even to appeal to the opposite sex; they are made to make clothing look good. But women often compare themselves to mannequins — and their walking counterparts, models — and tell themselves they are ‘less’ than these hangers of apparel, these marketing tools.

The April 2008 issue of Skin & Ink includes an article on Bombshell Betty‘s pinup class. To honor (and correct) Betty has posted some comments regarding it in a post titled, “Pinup articles, body love/hate, and pornography”. (PDFs of the magazine article are there as well).

It is from her blog post that I take the following quote:

First of all, I don’t think fashion models are personally responsible for the eating disorder epidemic that is taking place in the United States, accompanied by misogyny and body hating from both men and women. Fashion models have as little control over their genes and overall body type as the rest of us do, and they are under considerable pressure from their industry to maintain extremely low body weights in order to get work.

And THAT is where the problem comes from. The industry pressure.

She continues, also mentioning Velvet d’Amour, and other positive steps.

This is what I love about the modern burlesque resurgence, and one of the things I love most about the pinup movement as well. These communities are creating a space for women (and men!) to come together in all of their shapes, sizes, ages and races and be seen as sexy, powerful and beautiful!

I am reminded of all of this (and more) when I spotted lovely Bunny’s post on the Body Image Challenge. She begins by responding with this:

Gee, why not ask me to solve the Israeli-Palestinian problem, bring peace to Iraq, and make George W. Bush intelligent? Because saying something nice about myself is just as nigh-on-impossible.

Please note this is the very same woman in this image, and this too. Silly Bunny to not love herself!

But then, isn’t this the very issue?

We often cannot, will not, forgive ourselves for the very things that others do and will.

I have lots more to say on this subject; consider this post advance warning. (And please do read the posts I’ve linked to — there may be a quiz!)

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