And as soon as one believes that one has seen it all - screetch, something new comes up that is so unbelievably good.
Because since a while, I do not visit real clothes or shoe shops so often any more. Every now and then maybe, but much rather, I order stuff on-line. With a visible handicap, Zurich's clothes or shoe shops just may not be the best place to go or be.
By far the worst, of course, is the Walder shoe shop in the Glatt shopping center. Usually, at least one shoe sales force employee takes it upon herself to take a hard unabashed observant stare at me, from safe distance, while I struggle to bind the shoe in an attempt to try them on. The. Shoe. Singular (not plural). Simply because I usually don't make it past one shoe. The staring there is not comfortable. Maybe, I want to feel at ease? Maybe, I just want to try on a few shoes and not be bothered in that way? But not always one has to bear getting started at by one employee. It also happened that three of them stood next to each other, lined up, at a safe 5 meter distance, to take a full, unabridged, entirely frame filling Baroque stare at me while I tried on some type of winter boot. Three staring idiots, that is not negotiable with me. No embarrassment there, no remorse, and definitely no apology. That is an aspect of shopping in and around Zurich.
So, I do hate going to these shops, rarely are sales people a true help there. More often, they wreck my day. In many regards, not buying anything there is more likely to make my days rich and beautiful. And to arrive there, as people that run shops, and that attempt to sell their stuff, is an achievement on its own, one has to hand them that. There are rare exceptions, really great clothes or shoe sales people that treat me as an adult customer. These exist. Just to so frequently.
But now, there are these shape variations in shop window mannequins. One has to see these.
Bei Youtube steht dazu geschrieben: Die Zürcher Bahnhofstrasse glänzt in der Vorweihnachtszeit mit schmucken Auslagen. In den Schaufenstern von fünf Modegeschäften sind heute jedoch besondere Schaufensterpuppen mit Behinderung im Einsatz. Die Figuren wurden massstabgetreu als dreidimensionale Abbilder von Miss Handicap 2010 Jasmin Rechsteiner, Radiomoderator und Filmkritiker Alex Oberholzer, Leichtathlet Urs Kolly, Bloggerin Nadja Schmid sowie Schauspieler Erwin Aljukic geschaffen.
The Youtube text says: Zurich Bahnhofstrasse shines with pre-christmas shop window decorations. Five fashion shops however show special shop window mannequins with a handicap. These mannequins were built to scale after Miss Handicap 2010 Jasmin Rechsteiner, radio host and film critic Alex Oberholzer, athlete Urs Kolly, blogger Nadja Schmid as well as actor Erwin Aljukic.
And in a strange way, this makes me again feel at home a wee bit more in the world of these strange fashion shops. Even though they worded it "Zurich bahnhofstrasse ... shines" .."however" .. "shop window mannequins with a handicap". Why "however"?
That type of acceptance, to even try to exhibit the shapes of assumedly respected customers when they have a visible handicap, is new. Just because this has been missing so far, that is not unimportant. Au contraire. People with visible handicaps get stared at because of their body shapes. The body shape is the corpus delicti, the specimen itself, it is the fact, the factor, the raison d'etre for these new shop window mannequins. The follow-up religion "materialism" does have its normative pillars in the role of Madonna-like statues that are aimed to vectorize our material cravings, and shop window mannequins are very symbolic there. To deny that is to deny our culture. In a sense, the fur coat wearing shop window puppet conveys "you should want to become me". And to talk to everybody including us, that is a symbolic step of great relevance.
The shop window mannequin idea and myself already already are thoroughly acquainted, so, that is that. I already realized the fun in exploiting the normative potential of that type of appearance, both practically and symbolically. But where there is really need for improvement is with the shop sales folks. They might have to be sent to courses, where they at least learn how it feels getting stared at profusely. I could tell them at least one shop where they could try that out.