|A display in the menswear section at Queue.|
Note the charming name of the clothing line: TITS
Two questions: what was she selling? And where was she selling it?
I'll answer the easy question first. This mannequin was in an upscale, trendy shop just off of Whyte Avenue. She was also in the men's section of this store, cuddled up to messaged tees, hoodies and jeans.
So what was she selling? Not to get all second-wave feministy (not that there is anything wrong with that), but the semiotics are hard to ignore. "Lads, if you buy that t-shirt with an athletic logo, you're sure to attract a girl just like her!"
Which for the record is diminutive, featureless, and both hypersexualized (given her absence of clothing and the use of pasties) and defeminized (given her lack of nipples - which made the pasties irrelevant, but oddly more deliberate).
A point about nipples. While it is common practice to de-nipple-ize mannequins (to present them more as clothes hangers than as real women, and to take away the social taboo of the naked breast, should one be seen without a top), the fact that this mannequin needed to have her non-existent nipples covered both drew attention to this female erogenous zone, as well as the fact that she didn't actually possess this zone herself. The semiotics point to a sense of castration, of diminished feminine power, of objectification. What, in a different context, could be shown as a female symbol in control of her own femininity and sexuality instead was a female symbol clothed in the vernacular of the sex industry - in a department geared toward selling to men.
Which frankly, is an insult both to women and to the men they are aiming to persuade. If you sell to the lowest common denominator, isn't that what you're going to get?