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The Human Mannequin

by on November 9, 2012

FOP, a human genetic condition, which means that muscle slowly turns into bone. Louise Wedderburn is the focus of the Channel4 Documentary, following her in her dream to join the fashion world! Knocks and injury to her body cause bone to form,locking joints into place. In the long term, she could permanently be a ‘frozen body’- hence the Human Mannequin title.

Watching the documentary you can understand how Louise Wedderburn falls into the ‘uncanny valley’, but just as her usual human self. In a way, her pretty-ness makes her MORE uncanny, because makers of statues would never make an ‘ugly’ model, for example as an advertisement for their clothes.  Her family admitted the worst thing would be for her jaw to freeze, but when this does happen, and her body finally freezes completely, what differentiates her from a mannequin in the shop, who cannot move or talk either. Well, I think there are a thousand reasons why she remains a human, not a mannequin! (I’m sure you all do too, but let me discuss what I think).

Louise is alive. Inside her still body, there would still be a blood stream flowing, a heart pumping and a brain working. She has also established relationships with family and friends before her body finally cannot move anymore. A mannequin who has been created as a 18 year old has not have 18 years of being in the world, creating a personality for themselves and having emotional connections with other people.  A mannequin does not have ambitions and wishes: Louise has a passion to go into the fashion industry, and even inside a frozen shell, these still exist for her. It is an inspiring documentary, worth a watch if you are interested.





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