I am a free and rational walking mannequin.
Usually, mannequins are built just for the sake of marketing and modeling products, specifically clothes. They may be owned by either the clothing line owner or the mannequin’s manufacturer. Being in the possession of someone else does not make you a hundred percent free being or rather, not free at all. As an assembled grown woman made of hard and durable plastic, one is incapable of moving, one is inanimate, one can only remain how she is made: standing up with one hand pointing to the sky, or sat down with the back arched low. In order to be rational, one needs to be able to think on her own but apparently, mannequins do not have anything beneath their synthetic skin. Brains and synapses are not present in the totality of a mannequin; therefore they are unable to produce outputs. With these characteristics, mannequins are just plain sculptures; their only difference with the typical expensive and grand sculptures is that they are not treated as special as the others. Looking up into the thesaurus section, the word mannequin is one and the same with a ‘dressmaker’s dummy’ as compared to the word sculpture, it is the same with a monument. While I am a mannequin, many are sculptures who have great importance in the society.
Just like all the other products in the market, mannequins need a factory where they shall be created, molded and assembled. This place will be responsible for how the mannequin will turn out after all the processes. A sanitized, organized and supervised factory would most probably produce a high-end appearing life-sized doll; and on the contrary, a very cheap and brittle doll would be created if the factory is not very meticulous in making its products. As we all know, there are certain rules in every institution, they may not be that obvious in some institutions but a set of laws is essential in an institution. These policies will define a member’s being; without them, an institution may fall out and fail.
In the modern society, most items for consumption are technologically made. Factories are generally filled with several machines to aid the laborers in manufacturing different goods. It is partially true that computers and machines or technology in general exist to give support to human beings’ work because in one way or another, these pieces of equipment dehumanize their users.
If we are to look at mannequins and the process behind creating them in the eyes of a post-modernist, we can look upon the laborers as the authors and the mannequins are the narratives they create. Comparing mannequins to human beings; physically, the two are not far apart in fact, mannequins are patterned after the image of human beings. The two entities may also be similar in the factuality that they are both narratives of many different authors. The manufacturer can write the tale of the mannequin, and so can the stylist of a certain clothing line who will use the mannequin as a model; on the other hand, the self may write the narrative of a human being and so may her friends, family and even a stranger.
I am a free and rational walking mannequin. I love to dress up a lot that I usually end up looking over-dressed all the time. I am that seventeen year old girl who does not like to blend in together with the rest of the crowd. I rarely repeat outfits in a year, which helps me achieve my goal of not being among the crowd. My outfit, more often than not depends on my mood, or sometimes, I assign a specific theme each week to make my days seem more creative. I have never been interested in fashion as much as I do nowadays. I think the reason I am fond of clothes today is my friends; two of my best friends introduced me to a website called lookbook.nu a year ago. Lookbook is a website where people from all across the globe can join and post pictures that would showcase their outfit. This lone site in the internet inspired me to wear more appealing clothes in public. Later, I then told about this to my brother who in turn had the same effect that I had. Internet and technology play a huge part in creating the “self”; just like what happened to the four of us, these can change a person in a short period of time. Apart from being amazed in the different combinations one could make out of clothes, I am also fond of playing the piano, singing, photographs and animals. These hobbies have developed through time and alongside the change that is happening in our society.
Just like what we have discussed in class, the society decides and determines what the self would be and vice versa. And although institutions create rules and barriers to guide the growth of a person, it would not hurt that much to drift away from the usual setting once in a while for this, in time, helps you learn many things about yourself and helps you create your own and unique image.
I am a free and rational walking mannequin. I am a dressmaker’s dummy. I am a singer. I am a UP student. I am seventeen. I am Yana and I am a narrative written by many.
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