4 May 2010
The last time I visited my supermarket, the entrance aisle was filled with mannequins. The company sells discount clothes at the back of the store, underneath the café mezzanine. There are clothes for men, women, and children, just as there are mannequins: figures of clear perspex inside steel frames.
They’re dressed in the new lines for summer. The women’s accessories are unsecured. None of them have any heads, or hands.
Mannequins, like clowns, have passed the point of ‘Those everyday things are a bit scary, actually,’ and advanced straight for the collective terror of the everyday. The writers of the revived Doctor Who made the ninth Doctor’s first enemy a race of sentient mannequins who dropped their wrists to shoot death-rays from their arms.
But these ones have no hands and have no heads and have gone out on display in metal cages.
Did nobody in the design chain stop and have their stomach turned, even just a little bit? Did somebody with a spreadsheet calculate that the saving in extra plastic, one more mould, those two or three seconds on the production line wouldn’t outweigh the loss made when we walk past the bodies with parts missing and lose any appetite for those treats for tea?