Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Friday, 30 May 2014

Mannequins and the Impulse to Buy, and What Colors People Come In

According to the Guardian, there's a bit of skinny-shaming directed at dress shop, or rather, lingerie shop dummies, (no, not us dummies who shop there...)

The EXTREMELY high end underwear purveyor La Perla has come under fire for using mannequins with "visible ribs." I'm assuming, (can't see it in photo,) it is the costae verae , that on the very thin one can see at the top of the chest that are the offending bones, since even on a plump thing like me ones lower ribs show.

I was stuck by the writer saying that although the most common color for mannequins is now white,
"it used to be 'flesh tone' – that is, flesh-toned if you are white."
Um, no.

Unless by "white" you mean beige, or pink or tan? Because if any people were actually white, then the currently popular snow drift/alabaster/chalk/white (my word, I could work for Sherwin Williams or J Crew!) mannequins would be, for them, well..... flesh-toned.

Dear me, between store dummies and opera singers, I seem to be reading an awful lot about weight lately...
On this whole privacy/internet thing, some article referenced Dumas pere's efforts to scrub the pre-web collective consciousness of photos of himself and his much younger paramour, an actress named Adah Menken, hitherto unknown to me.
That jibed with what I think I remember from school, Dumas pere was a bon vivant and a bit of a dog, Dumas fils a somewhat prudish but dutiful moralist? his own model for the elder Duval, renamed M. Germont in Verdi's La Traviata?
And there we are, back at opera!

Anyway, who could resist running to Google Images to see what these racy photos were like?
Certainly not I.

Adah apparently drove men mad and couldn't act a lick; she seems to have made a specialty of trouserless trouser roles, like Mazeppa or little Arab boys.

And this is what 19th century men expected a woman playing a young man or boy on stage to look like, (you decide if it is "believable" or "convincing") --

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