JCPenney Showcases Diverse Shapes & Sizes With New Mannequins

July 16, 2014  |  


We’re all different, aren’t we? So why can’t store mannequins reflect that? Don’t worry, JCPenney hears you loud and clear. The retail giant is embracing our most unique qualities by displaying five diverse mannequins that represent the underrepresented in fashion, Today reports.

Partnering with Today‘s “Love Your Selfie” seriesa campaign that pushes for better representation for people from all walks of life, JCPenney brought a little more diversity to its storefront windows: A plus-size woman, a man with prosthetic legs, a dwarf, a six-foot tall woman, and a wheelchair-bound female.

The best part? These mannequins are all inspired by real life people. “I’m a father, I’m a husband, [and] I am 3-foot-9. I am taller than my wife,” the man with dwarfism told Today, disproving stereotypes that commonly plague little people.

“I was a paratrooper in the army in Afghanistan in 2005 and the vehicle I was in was hit by an improvised explosive device. I have prosthetics and you still can have physical achievement,” Neil Duncan said.

Desiree Hunter, a 6-foot-1½-inch college basketball player, calls herself a “gentle giant.”

These people represent “millions,” according to Today, and their one-of-kind physicalities are being celebrated until the end of August.

“We felt like this was a great opportunity to really make sure we were helping showcase the important subject of body image,” says Debra Berman, senior vice president of marketing, JCPenney.

Though the exhibition has been open to the public for just a day, JCPenney’s mannequins have received an outpouring of positive reactions.

Two years ago, thousands petitioned against JCPenney’s mannequins for being too skinny. “This is about a major retailer choosing to advertise with unrealistic portrayals of the human body,” wrote Dae C. Sheridan, the petition’s author.

Though the petition never got enough signatures, perhaps this is JCPenney’s way of acknowledging the problem and appeasing the Sheridans out there in the world.

It’s too bad that the new mannequins will not become a permanent fixture at all JCPenney department stores.

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