JCPenney Finds A New Way To Address Body Image: Mannequins

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Props to JCPenney — pun intended. In April, The Today Show brought together a handful of folks for its “Love Your Selfie” series and partnered with Fusion Specialties on custom-made mannequins to match each person’s body shape. JCPenney then took up Today on its offer to promote the figures, placing them in the windows of its Manhattan Mall location through August.

The quintet doesn’t include retailers’ regular clothes hangers. According to Today.com, “The real life inspirations for the mannequins are: Dawna Callahan, who uses a wheelchair due to incomplete paralysis; Neil Duncan, a former Army paratrooper who lost parts of both of his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan; Ricardo Gil, who has dwarfism; Desiree Hunter, a 6-foot-1½-inch college basketball player; and Beth Ridgeway, who is plus-size.” They were installed as part of the brand’s “When it Fits, You Feel it” campaign.

Debra Berman, senior vice president of marketing told Today, “We felt like this was a great opportunity to really make sure we were helping showcase the important subject of body image.” And, passersby appreciate the change of scenery. “I think it’s time that stores embrace the fact that we’re all different… We come in all different sizes, heights, weights,” one woman said. Plus, no merkins were needed for JCP’s rendition of The Real World: America. (Today.com)