Maniquí Cusqueña

Colorless, listless, painstakingly market-tested, and coated in a sarcophagal sheen, the American mannequin lives to serve, to melt away unseen beneath the fervent, must-have glamour of Product X or the effusive, shimmering perfection of Product Y. The paragon of social progress, this silent hero of the show window dutifully forgoes all ethnic, religious, and sexual identity to do it’s part to secretly calm even the slightest tempest in the mind of the anxious consumer. When failing to escape notice, the American mannequin often finds its impossible waistline, soaring cheekbones and chiseled abs the envy and dismay of all but the smallest subset of slender teens and fitness freaks.

The Cusqueñan mannequin, while still of an unnatural svelte, revels in the varied aspects of its imperfection. The presence of skin tone begets blemish and the presence of well-coiffed hair begets bald patches, just as the freedom endowed by the absence of the show window demands the occasional cosmetic trauma. Whereas the American varietal prefers the unimposing sterility of a permanent poker face, the Cusqueñan mannequin entices the consumer- sometimes with a jolt- by employing the full spectrum of emotions and expressions in its sales pitch. The Cusqueñan mannequin finds no virtue in melting away blandly beneath a covetous gaze, no merit in elevating product over identity when the heart of every transaction ought always to possess something of communal and, ultimately, human value.