We see them everywhere with their perfectly sculpted bodies, mocking our bulge.

We see them with their skin, white and plastic, casting disdainful shadows on our black skin. See their hair, long and shiny; their aquiline noses raised defiantly above our filth and dust; their glassy eyes giving off nothing; facial expressions, cold and unfeeling. They live among us, these foreigners who mock us when that extra plate of rice or that irresistible slice of devilish chocolate cake reports on our waistlines and hips.

China created them for us; both male and female.

female mannequins male mannequins

Mannequins are great at making sales and are used the world over. Infact, early this year, a clothing store in the US, American Apparel, displayed mannequins with fully grown pubic hair. Yep, they did and got plenty of attention too.

mannequin bushu

There are mannequins everywhere; almost all of them white skinned. The female mannequins have pert looking breasts with erect nipples that always get the eye. That’s the reason why you, yes you na, with your full breasts will stop and look longingly at the dress on the mannequin, forgetting that whereas it has peanuts for breasts, yours are fully ripe melons.

That’s how you get sold a dummy.

So you don’t know it’s deliberate, that these mannequins always come in one form- svelte. Abi have you ever seen a mannequin with butts the size of Mama Shakira’s? Oho!

Truth is these mannequins are meant to catch that greed in your eyes. You convince yourself, saying, ‘If it can look hot on a mannequin, it’s gonna smoulder on me.’ Lie! You are about to be sold a dummy.

While you are still wondering whether you can suck it in long enough to zip it up, the shop keeper steps in and begins to drip honey from his lips. He is an expert at sweet talking mugus like you and prying off hard earned naira notes from fat fingers such as yours. He convinces you to try on the dress. You eagerly shed your clothes in the changing room and pull on his but then you look at yourself in the mirror and go hmmn.  It’s not quite there; the dress is not looking as hot and sexy on you like it did on the mannequin with the pert breasts.

But the shop keeper has a target; after all, his mannequin has done its bit.

‘Madam this dress was made just for you’.  You hear the greedy shop keeper gushing. He claps his hands and tells you to turn around. He finally convinces you to buy, telling you it fits better on you than on the mannequin.

He lies some more, telling you your butt gave it a better fit. ‘Oyibo mannequin is no match for you’, he continues. You smile, still looking at the mirror. A compliment from the shop keeper ain’t a bad thing, is it? Then you ask how much it costs.

My sister, you’re about to be sold a dummy!

According to Linus, a clothes trader on Allen, the clothes on mannequins sell faster. And you better believe him because he knows what he is talking about; Basic psychology 101.

We all strive for the ideal. The mannequins represent the image we want for ourselves. We want to be tall, slim and athletic looking but al that cake and three babies haven’t been kind to our waistlines. Truth is, we don’t see ourselves the way we truly are. The shopkeeper knows it, the mannequin knows it, except you.

Have you asked yourself this question;  why would the pair of jeans on a mannequin made with butts that look like its being raised by an invisible pole fit you? Are your butts raised with an invisible pole?

The male mannequins are also part of this trade gimmick. Most of these come with big errm…things between their legs and many guys imagine the bulge will automatically become theirs upon the purchase of the trousers on display. Foul!

Why don’t we have mannequins with wide African hips and bums like Omotola’s? Isn’t that the way we are built? Why can’t they come with kinky hair and flat African noses?


These days, though, many boutiques are standing out by displaying Black skinned mannequins and some actually have braids on even though they still have aquiline noses and arched eyebrows.

Now, the takeaway here is this, mannequins get your attention. They create an illusion of what we consider ideal and they get away with it.

So next time you find yourself squeezing into that tight skirt on the mannequin or bunching up your shoulders to get the effect you saw on a mannequin, know, you’ve just been sold a dummy!



omotola image credit

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About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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