American Apparel's New Mannequins Clearly Don't Believe in Bikini Waxing

Mannequins are having quite a decade. They are looking more realistic than ever before and have really evolved from their 1950s cousins, which were mostly blonde and svelte. Now, stores have the option of using multiethnic life-size dolls that have round booties, curves and, in some cases, even reflect the bodies of people with disabilities. And why the heck not? Aside from having the power to make a powerful statement about beauty ideals in our society, it makes sense that we should be able to visualize how different clothing designs look on various body shapes and types since the average female consumer is not 5’9 and model-skinny.

American Apparel has always been a company that pushed the envelope in terms of what is considered ideally beautiful. One store in New York City took things pretty far this week when it unveiled female mannequins with one asset we've yet to see: pubic hair.


The shop quietly put up their anatomically-correct mannequins, which are all clad in sheer panties and bras, in the middle of the night as a way of drumming up business before Valentine's Day. According to a sales associate, they're meant to convey the "rawness and realness of sexuality" -- which is something American Apparel has never had a problem doing in any of their ad campaigns. Their models, though not usually picture-perfect, are always gorgeous and appealing in a sort-of 1970s, no-bra-needed way. It's no shock that they already showed a woman's pubic hair in one of their past ads.

After I spent the morning giggling like a little girl while viewing the images, which can be seen here, I had to think long and hard about how they made me feel. Shocked? A little -- but probably more because I've never seen my own body or that of any woman in any film that isn't foreign and shot in the 70s with that much pubic hair. I mean, there's pubic hair and then there's major, no holds barred pubic hair and these mannequins are just going for it.

Then I wondered if I'd mind it if my small children passed the shop and saw these mannequins. And the answer is no. Though it isn't necessary to make our mannequins SO realistic when their only job is to serve as clothing hangers, I don't see how it can hurt. This is a far more realistic interpretation of the female body than a totally hairless girl-woman mannequin. It's a bold, but great statement, and I applaud the shop for taking such a risk. 

I can only imagine what's next. Mannequins with less than perky boobs? Mannequins in bikinis with C-section scars? The possibilities are endless, folks!

What do you think of these mannequins with pubic hair?


Image via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

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