Dummy Laowai

I recently read a blog post written by another foreigner living in China, in which he made some observations about mannequins.  I can’t remember which bog it was now, but I’ll spend some time looking through the usual suspects and post a link here as soon as I find it again.  What I do remember is that he wrote something about the mannequins in China not looking Asian.  Could that be true?  I have to admit I had never really thought about it much but I was skeptical, thinking surely there must be mannequins with Asian features!  So, camera in hand, I took a walk around the neighborhood, one laowai dummy looking for some others.  Here’s a sampling of what I found …

UPDATE:  I did find the original post at kuluyi. 堪大陆毅。

There were a lot of “boy-band” looking pop-star kinda’ guys.  That makes sense, I hear The Back Street Boys and NSYNC nearly everyday here.


Platinum Pop

I am not usually into blondes but this was the hottest mannequin in the neighborhood.  She definitely had a bit of an attitude.  I tried my best material and she didn’t even crack a smile.  I mean she just stood there like a freakin’ statue or someth … oh … yeah.


The Hot Blonde

One thing about it, mannequins make great subjects for photography.  They usually have strong features, are interestingly lit and they don’t move!  This cat was all jaw-line.   “Zoolander-ish”.


Bald Bokeh

I found some African mannequins, as well as some alien looking dummies, but alas not one Asian.  I can’t quite fathom why this is really.  I mean, you know these things have to had been manufactured here in China.


Liuzhou Sista’

I don’t know why I find all this so odd. Maybe it’s because in a city of 1.5 million or so, there are only around 200 non-Asian faces!



Of course there is nothing scientific about my research, it is after all, just a small sample from my neighborhood.  Still, I am obsessed intrigued!   The search is on, I’ll be keeping an eye out for my Asian  mannequin.  Updates to come I am sure, so exciting!

Yes I know what some of you are thinking.  It’s true.  I am often bored and haven’t enough to do so I am easily amused. .

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~ by Expatriate Games on January 19, 2009.

10 Responses to “Dummy Laowai”

  1. I suspect the manufacturers make mannequins under contract with foreign companies for shipment overseas. Factory seconds, left-overs and what-not get sold in the local market. They’ll start making Asian-faced mannequins when they start manufacturing specifically for the local market.

    • I’m sure your right Jim about manufacturing for a foreign market Jim, but that is precisely the odd thing about it all, at least to me. I can’t believe that no one is manufacturing mannequins specifically for the Asian market, there is something else there I think.

  2. You know all the mannequins here and animation are of non-Asians. The cartoon characters have eyes so big and blue… it’s quite funny sometimes. All of Asia obviously cannot get rid of the “western” complex…unfortunately…

  3. You know, I just can’t get rid of that image in your head of your running around those dolls like they are pop stars.
    Must have been quite a sight.

  4. Off course that should be the image in my head.
    Sorry, the flu is playing tricks with my ability to switch from Dutch to English

    • It’s understandable Petra … I have the same issue between Chinese and English, only I can’t even use the flu as an excuse!

  5. One of the popular mannequins in Shenzhen is the ecstatically screaming woman with funky hair. My friends find it really frightening…I just think it’s the funniest mannequin in the world. Most of the time the hair is painted in rainbow colors to add to the clownish quality. I’m thinking it would be an interesting experiment to put one in a classroom with an English recording playing to see if little kids will learn better than with the usual EFL teachers.

  6. I’ve always found mannequins creepy…and clowns. But the “hot blonde” sure looks so realistic!

    Happy Chinese New Year! 🙂

  7. Hhaha, I’m glad my tedious post provoked more than just a short chuckle but i think there is something behind it. The Chinese sense of ‘beauty’ or ‘fashion’ still relies a lot on the west. (I just got back from Hong Kong) China has no Prada or Gucci or Louis Vuitton of its own on the same scale. The west has little to no interest to live like or look like the Chinese and until that happens, China won’t be a superpower.

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