Representation of Racial Stereotypes in Mannequins- Midterm Proposal


Within the structure of our class this semester I find that we often revert back to image representation; so I decided to follow that theme in my semester project. Reading John Berger’s Ways of Seeing and Practices of Looking by Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright inspired my project. Oddly enough the Forever 21 clothing store sparked my interest, when I walked in their Manhattan location one day and saw 3 mannequins in a row that spoke to a platform of representations. It was startling the way the store portrayed the mannequins, by putting them into a racial category, but this was supposedly their way of reaching a certain demographic.

project. imagery and culture pic I took this in the Forever 21 store, Manhattan, NYC location  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA  Newark, NJ Location of a beauty supply shop

My project is going to be me taking pictures in different cities or areas and seeing what the mannequins say about image representation. All of the pictures will revert back to something we have read in class. Almost everything in class that we have read or watched has to with image representation; therefore I have a lot of support from the structure of the class to argue “representation of racial stereotypes in mannequins”.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Newark, NJ Location of a beauty supply shop  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Newark, NJ Location of a beauty supply shop

  I want to touch on many other sub- issues that fall in line with representation as well, for instance questioning if people can really identify with these mannequins? I will also go out into stores and construct my own interviews on how the workers and the consumers feel about these images. I will definitely have a list of questions with me as I walk around and investigate the representation of mannequins in these stores.

My interview question sheet will ask:

Can you identify with these mannequins? If not, why?How do you view these mannequins? Who do you think makes them? Does that even matter? Who do you think there demographic is and why? How does it make you feel ultimately? And why The mannequins from each location will ultimately be compared to each other’s image and location.

Bibliography and source list:

Forever 21 store page-

The mannequin supply-

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. 2009. Practices of looking: an introduction to 4. visual culture. New York: Oxford University Press: 10

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. New York: Viking, 1973: 46 Debord, Guy. “Society of the Spectacle.” (1977).


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