30 Sept 2013

Window shopping back in 1948

Nowadays, once in a while there is a (mostly unsuccessful) initiative to replace the usual, extra-small sized window dummies by 'average' size or plus size dummies, to make feel us, 'average' women better... Well, the problem of the idealized body shape image in marketing existed in the 1940's too.
While we tend to think that the nipped-in waist era started in the early 50's, even the window dummies went from the 26 in (=66.5 cm) waists to 22 in (=56 cm) as early as in 1948! 'Pleasing oval proportions' of the face and 'Vogue' noses, which were 'small, plump and delightful' were preferred. And how about the whopping 5 foot 11 (=180 cm) height?! Not so different from model sizes of our days which is more than 60 years later!!!!
There was true craftsmanship involved in making these dummies, starting with sculpting them individually. The horsehair wigs were set with bobby pins and even the eyelashes were curled...
did you know that...
...back in the early days of department stores window dummies were made out of wax which occasionally melted on hot days, causing the dummies to collapse in the shop window?
Scroll down to read!

source of all newspaper images: AWW through trove

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