A lot of people have asked me about why I get so mad about mannequin nipples since I mentioned it in my last weekly update. It's something I think about at least ten times a year, and my conclusion is always the same. I'm mad. And, as with most things in my life, I sound like a crazy person, but I also have some solid points. I'm going to tell you what they are. But first, some background.
Mannequins with nipples are everywhere. I don't know why more people don't seem to notice how everywhere they are, but they are legitimately everywhere, poking out of blouses and tees, challenging me to an unwinnable staring contest. They follow me wherever I go. They are too constant a presence in retail window displays. When will I be free of them?
I'm not sure if I just happen to notice more because I'm mad about them, or if I'm mad about them because I notice them more, but I'm sure once you look you will realize that most female mannequins have nipples. Here are some reasons why this is maddening to me.
Mannequin nipples serve no purpose. In fact, they serve less than no purpose, because the purpose of a mannequin is to model the way clothing should ideally be thought if in the mind of the shopper. The difference between what a dress looks like on the rack and what it looks like in three dimensions on a mannequin is a big one. You know what most people don't do? Aim to have their nipples jutting out of their clothing. Is there anything wrong with going braless? Not necessarily. But it's just not a common enough choice to justify these mannequin nipples existence, and it actually makes the modeling of the clothing less effective to me.
They are distracting. This kind of goes along with my last point, but let me just add that there are some mannequins out there with really unevenly placed nipples that completely put me off thinking about the garment its modeling. Are uneven nipples a biological reality? Of course. But I find myself spending too much time trying to understand the artificial unevenness of fake boobs whose purpose were supposedly to put focus on the clothes.
Who on earth is putting time into sculpting these nipples? We have established that mannequin nipples directly contradict the purpose of mannequins, so who on earth is sculpting these nipples? Who is designing all these nipple-having mannequins?
Why are mannequin nipples okay but girls get kicked out of school for going braless? Y'all probably guessed that I think school dress codes are often sexist. Telling kids not to wear clothing with swear words on them is reasonable, telling girls to go home because other people are sexualizing her is sexist and generally BS. Last month a high schooler was sent home because her bra-less outfit made a male teacher "uncomfortable." What kind of sexist joke of a society are we living in when many mass market, family-friendly retail stores can have woman-shaped objects that can have their nipples out but a girl can have the same look and get kicked out of school because she is being objectified by others-- adult others in a position of authority over her. Are you getting mad yet?
How about the treatment of mothers compared to mannequins? What about the fact that these mannequins have less-than-useless nips out for the world to apparently not have any reaction to, but women can't breastfeed in public free of shame? There are places that will have women's boobs out for male consumption or economic gain and it's totally cool, but women using nipples for their biologically intended purpose is not okay? What is that all about?
It infuriates me that these mannequins have nipples for pretty much no reason and can just display them so openly in a way that actual human women cannot. They are useless and they just highlight how the women's bodies are commodified and subjugated. How do objects whose nipples serve no function pass without reaction and yet living people get taken out of school, called unprofessional or get fired, and get harassed for making it known that they have nipples?
I don't get it and I never will.
What do you think about all this?