When I was a child, my mother had all sorts of styrofoam mannequin heads around the house. This is because she was sensitive about her thinning hair and would at times wear a curly blonde wig, the same shade as her own hair; whenever she went “out with the ladies.” The wigs she kept on the heads. The heads, she let me ‘decorate’ any way I wanted. None remain to this day, they are long gone but I found a similar head online:
I rimmed the eyes with black crayons, filled the pupils in with my emerald or turquoise crayons. I painted on earrings with ‘magic’ markers and I scribbled, poked, dented, and made colorful abstracts all over them with pens, pencils and the like. Funny how one photo will spark a memory like that. My aunt posted a picture of herself with her arm around a mannequin dressed in fireman gear, with the caption: My New Boyfriend.
I took the following picture of a similar mannequin, also dressed in fireman attire. He was sitting there, disheveled at the firehouse where my grandson has his birthday party in March.
This mannequin is partially concealed by a sign. I found him at a roadside vegetable stand last year and took this picture:
I also took the following picture with my cell phone a few years ago. I stopped into a local business and spotted this mannequin across the parking lot:
There is a local house not too far from my own known as a house of dolls. Or “House of Mannequins.” I wish I knew the backstory. Here it is, the photo was taken by Greg Davidek from the site link at the end of this post… (My son once sent me a text with a picture he took himself but of course I can’t find that one):
That leads me to a link I almost forgot I bookmarked, which you will find at the end of this post… The page states this:
“‘La Popular’ is a famous bridal shop in Chihuahua, Mexico, but it’s not its beautiful dresses that made it famous. It’s the startlingly lifelike mannequin that has been standing at the shop’s window for the past 85 years. According to local legends, the mannequin is in fact the preserved, mummified corpse of the daughter of the shop’s original owner. Is this creepy and disturbing story true? We may never know. But one thing is certain: It does look extremely lifelike. Take a look at these pictures and decide for yourself.
The owner of store at the time (in 1930) was Pascuala Esparza. The mannequin is nicknamed La Pascualita (Little Pascuala)…Shortly after La Pascualita debuted at the store, locals began to suspect that it was actually the embalmed body of the owner’s daughter.”
I had an elderly family member who was affected by both Parkinsons and slight dementia. About a year before she was moved to a care facility where she passed away, I visited her and had the occasion to see her bedroom. I wrote about it in my book, here is the excerpt in part:
When Annie emerged from the bedroom, ghost-white and searching, she was naked from the waist up. I led her back in with an arm around her shoulder as a guide and fit a dressing gown with flowers on it over her head that I’d seen strewn across the unmade bed. Her frail body wavered, silent amongst the staring porcelain dolls surrounding the bed in poses. Some of her “babies” had age-worn yellowing, cracked staring faces frozen in pouts, others were radiant, new with shining black shoes and prissy socks. More than one had only one good eye. I grabbed a handful of twisted sheets and blankets and started making up the bare mattress. I was mindful of my audience. Every doll was dressed to the nines.
More mannequins. These are from the 1950s…… Just because I’m thinking it’s a nice diversion. And also because it’s creepy in an interesting way. From Lynn Cinnamon’s site, some creepy mannequins, (link follows):
Vintage 1940s mannequins:
Don’t even get me started on wax mannequins. I’ve seen quite a few wax museum “dummies” (I kind of despise that description) in the Lake George area and also have toured many wax museums in Canada. It’s quite the artform.
Here’s one from The Lake George House of Frankenstein wax museum:
Who can forget that classic Twilight Zone episode where the mannequins come to life? Every year around New Years a Twilight Zone marathon plays and I usually tune in. I probably know every episode by heart. Here’s a still from that episode of Anne Francis.
“The After Hours”
Season One, Episode 34
Original Air Date: June 10, 1960
How about that Telly Savalas episode with the talking doll Talky Tina from Twilight Zone? Or the one with the ventriloquist doll?
I’m going to finish up with these modern mannequins:
(Apparently people make entire Pintrest pages about mannequins. Who Knew and why not?
From Kevin Arpino:
So there you go. I’ve only dipped my toes into this subject. I said earlier that my aim here was diversion and I’ve accomplished that. It’s been “one of those” weeks. Be well! I’m just kidding. Here are a few more:
Last but not least, I leave you with two of the only dolls that have survived from my childhood. Even my granddaughters won’t touch them. Pippi Longstocking and Kewpie. Actually I renamed Kewpie “Peter…”
Wow, I don’t think I took care of them very well!
Looks like I may have given her a haircut!
Well played, Kim. Well played (with.)
top 10 creepy ventriloquist dolls: http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-10-creepiest-ventriloquist-dummies-of-all-time-458555695
Kevin Arpino fashion mannequins: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/fashion/kevin-arpino-creates-fashion-mannequins-up-close.html?_r=0
Pintrest mannequins: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/mannequin-display/ and https://www.pinterest.com/pin/315674255103475996/
Vintage 1940s mannequins: http://factory20.com/oddities/vintage-mercantile-store-mannequins/
House of Frankenstein wax museum: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/10804
Eerie Mannequins of 1950s Survival Atomic Test Town:
Twilight Zone episode: http://twilightzonevortex.blogspot.com/2012/07/after-hours.html
The Strange Bride Mannequin: http://boredomtherapy.com/corpse-bride/
The Mannequin House picture I found here: http://fredscruton.com/outsider-art-news/mannequin-house-seaview-ave-bridgeport-connecticut/