Brian Lutz / December 2, 2016

New York, NY- Activists are drawing attention to the misuse and lack of respect for store window mannequins with the social media craze know as The Mannequin Challenge.

“Many of these mannequins are treated quite differently than humans and our quest is to make sure their dignity is preserved,” proclaimed spokesperson Molly Sitter. Drawing comparisons to Chinese sweat shops activists are citing long hours standing without a proper break. Not surprisingly, many of these mannequins do not have union representation nor a trade association.

This unregulated industry has also raised the eyebrow of the Department of Labor as they are unsure how to classify these ubiquitous and essential retail assets that help clothing stores present their products. How does one pay for overtime over a 24 hour 7 days a week shift?

Representatives from the Banana of Republic claim their mannequins are not subject to US labor laws. “Consumers need to understand when we turn out the lights at our store our mannequins are getting ample rest and do not need the recuperating time that a live model would need to get proper nutrition and rest,” explained Chief Operating Officer Fred Still.


Tennis has also been thrown into the mix with Tommy Hilfiger’s new Flex Micro fabric embraced by company ambassador Rafael Nadal. “Having a shirtless tennis star represent a clothing company is a slap in the face of the Midnight to Midnight hard working mannequins everywhere,” according to the Mannequin Lives Matter Facebook page. The famously obsessive compulsive tennis star known for tugging his shorts tirelessly is quite the contrast to the stone faced and frozen posed store window mannequin.

“These mannequins are exploited in so many ways and tear at our social fabric as store designers prick and prod them to get the perfect fit.” Many times their torso’s are stored separately from their arms and legs in different boxes and customized as the retailer sees fit. Apparently, there is no discrimination in their treatment as uptown, downtown and midtown manhattan mannequins are all treated with the same ruthless manipulation.

“These mannequins wear wool overcoats under the hot bright white incandescent bulbs used in many windows in the Winter and gawked at during the Summer months in their micro fiber bikinis and shorts,” noticed Julia Hush who walks past Madison Avenue stores every day on her walk home to the Upper East Side.

Nadal’s tour brethren also got in the act as well with this 55 second promotional video as a tribute to Mannequins everywhere. Apparently, not all see it as harmless fun. “Mannequin lives matter” proclaimed a local passerby outfitted in a classic double breasted suit coat and pants with Oxford shoes. “I don’t like to try on clothing. Without these mannequins I’d probably be wearing only foldable attire”.

Brian Lutz

The Lemon: Imagination Six. Tolerance Love.