Let's be real: We had an actual mannequin challenge in this world way before the viral video craze.
Have you looked in a clothing store window lately?
Our fashion industry is everywhere and constantly evolving. Our seasons change, our styles change, our trends change. So why don't our mannequins change too?
Designer Rebecca Moses is stepping up to give the mannequin industry a much-needed makeover.
In her exhibit "Imperfectly Perfect," Rebecca has created a collection of mannequins that better reflect who we are as a culture today. She's using it as a way to celebrate fashion, visual art, mannequins, and diversity.
Gone are the days of every mannequin with the same shape, size, and blah look. These mannequins are bold, diverse, and champions of their own unique individuality.
Some of her mannequins have a crooked nose or one eye that dips down. You'll see mannequins with a mole on their cheek or frizzy hair. No two look the same, but all are equally distinct.
Every single one carries the attitude of: Isn't it great to be indescribable?
"We've come out of a huge world of reconstructing ourselves to be some ideal that society has inflicted upon us," Moses says. "I believe that we have to embrace what we have — our imperfections are really what define us."
Moses knows that our differences are what make us who we are. She's celebrating them.
She based the idea of her mannequins on a collection of paintings of women she created. The project took two years to put together from the sculpting of the mannequins, to the designing of their clothes, to the painting of their bodies. The final result can be seen on display at Ralph Pucci International, a contemporary design and art showroom, in New York City.
"I really do think that mannequins have to evolve," Moses adds. "Fashion today is not really about clothes as it is about the characters that wear the clothes and define their style."
You could go as far as to say that giving mannequins a more realistic reflection of what people look like might be more important than the clothes they're trying to sell.
It's widely known that dissatisfaction with one's appearance, especially for girls, begins at a very early age.
The NYC Girls Project reports that by middle school, 40-70% of girls are dissatisfied with two or more parts of their body, and that body satisfaction hits rock bottom between the ages of 12 and 15. And while 63% of girls agree that the body image represented by the fashion industry is unrealistic, nearly the same amount admit to comparing their bodies to fashion models. Those standards — that are often not even real — can be severely damaging to girls' self-esteem.
From dolls to billboards to mannequins, showing more realistic versions of the human experience can make a positive impact.
Moses hopes her exhibit will serve as a small step to empowering women of all ages to embrace who they are.
She also points to the divided times we live in right now and why it's more important than ever to be inclusive and to celebrate the uniqueness we each bring to the world. We all have something to contribute: our vision, our talents, our voices.
"Owning who you are can give you the confidence to choose your path in life," she says. "We all need that inner confidence."