Headless Mannequins

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Store mannequins in Saudi Arabia do not have heads, and I’ve seen some mannequins without arms as well. I believe it has something to do with the religion and idolization. I wonder if the mannequins can be ordered headless/armless or if there is some huge warehouse somewhere with all these mannequin heads in it. There are many shops in Jeddah that sell fancy evening gowns to women, who wear them to weddings which are usually only attended by women.
I remember when I first met my husband many years ago, he told me that Saudis would never wear T-shirts with faces of humans or animals, although since I’ve been here in KSA, I have seen children wearing clothing with animals on them.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Clothing, Culture, Photo, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Shopping and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Headless Mannequins

  1. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return
    the favor”.I’m trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  2. shareef says:

    Hi guys just came across this blog recently. To clarify the mannequin issue and make it clear to everyone. Iam a visual manager for one of the retailers over here in saudi.

    The reason mannequins dont have heads is because of religous reasons correct. In some sensitive areas mannequins are not allowed to have hands correct. Religous police knows as ‘muttawa’ police malls and are very particular about the way mannequins are represented. Dressing on particular mannequins are deemed unnacceptable. Kids mannequins with regards to heads can be used but should not display any facial features. I say again it depends on the area and community.

    Hope i helped…

  3. Pingback: Headless Schoolgirls « JEDDAH DAILY PHOTO JOURNAL

  4. Diane says:

    hi Susie! Wow .. what an interesting site i happed upon while searching google for ‘what do saudi arabian children wear’. my husband has been working in Jeddah 2 weeks on / 2 weeks off at the new university since september, and a local saudi man has been his driver from and to the hotel everday. He was particularly helpful and accomodating to my husband on his last trip and my husband has gotten to know a bit about him and his family. he did my husband a huge favor, and he would not take any money, so instead my husband thought it would be nice to give a gift from our daughter here in the states to his daughter. i Sent him back to SA today on a plain with 2 clothing outfits.. 2 pairs of pink pants, and two shirts.. one short and one long sleeve all interchangeable… but to my horror i am now thinking was that ok? are they allowed to wear such clothing? she is 12 months old. Any advice? Thanks and thanks for such and interesting website!~

  5. Mike says:

    I work for http://www.lvmannequins.com and we sell mannequins all over the US and overseas. Mannequins come headless, legless, armless, and just about anything else less! You should see the sexy mannequins they have over there…..they are headless but have huge chests! Makes no sense to me but it has something to do with the faces of the mannequins they dont like.

    • Amatullah says:

      Well Mikey, what you’ve stated make no sense to me at all. I can relate to what has been said by Susieofarabia about the headless mannequin but not the sexy huge chested mannequin your referring too. The shop seller are scarred to even sell black abbaya with empire cut design what more a mannequin with huge chest. Sounds like a propaganda to me! I’m a Singaporean from a mix ethnic background and my husband family is an expat in Saudi Arabia for almost their whole life now and I’ve been there and stayed there in Riyadh the capital city .I meet the city and it’s people and coming from a girl from the 2nd richest city on earth. it’s definitely refreshing and exactly what i wanted: To be treated like a Princess and have the men do everything for me, chauffeuring me around.
      Hey! Who’s complaining right? lol. Anyway,
      The thing about Saudi Arabia is the government and the culture is often a total opposite. Most Saudi woman aspire to be like western woman often than not they are more western than the westerners hence you see the grand ‘risque’ fancy evening dresses as commented by someone more like a night dress. Therefore, you see the contradicting practice of the people!

      Allah knows best. Cheers Susie!
      Slam alaikum wr wb

  6. Ting says:

    I’ve been visiting your wonderful blog recently.
    so they don’t sell regular clothes there like shirts or jeans for example? i know women can’t wear them there but I’m curious. just gowns? tnx!^^

    • Yes, regular clothes are worn here and women can wear them at home, but not out in public, just like the evening gowns. All types of sexy lingerie is sold here too, but the one big difference in KSA is that women cannot try on clothes before buying them and that men sell the women undergarments and lingerie as women are not allowed to work in that capacity. A law was passed a couple of years ago saying that women should be the ones to sell lingerie and undergarments to women, but nothing has changed yet. I know, I know – in a restricted society like this, men are selling women underwear??? YES! And the women don’t like it.

  7. If you find that warehouse with the mannequin heads, you will have photograph it. That would make an interesting and probably scary photo.

  8. Bill B says:

    Isn’t there a contradiction between what the women do while in SA and when they are abroad? I know the men (always have to qualify it and say, some men) usually follow the “When in Rome” theory.

  9. Dina says:

    Ah, so evening gowns ARE worn! Interesting, everything you say here.
    The Moslem Quarter of the Old City here has the same kind of mannequins.

  10. amy says:

    Such pretty dresses! Shame they are not for public consumption. I guess all those SA men just can’t control themselves 😉

  11. Chiara says:

    Most mannequins have detachable “everything”, but I’ve also seen ones like these with a closed neck, no plans for a head. They were more as a fashion statement in the West.

    The dresses are fabulous. I think people often forget how stylish people are “under the abaya”.

  12. gabor says:

    Sounds like a pretty twisted place. Would be fascinating to get your angle on it tho – i will be watching this blog.

    previously i posted how it must be boring for women, as a man i think i would get bored too – i really enjoy the company of women. these guys don’t know what they’re missing.

  13. C’est tres chic et elegant! Fabulous dresses! Would it be possible to take a photo of women at a wedding party and post it on your blog?? Same rules apply as if they were out in public?

    • When I first arrived in KSA, I took my camera with me to a couple of weddings and all the women were horrified. I didn’t fully understand the repercussions that can result from a woman’s photo getting out in this culture. While I still don’t agree with this aspect of the Saudi culture, I have total respect for their feelings and beliefs and would never post a photo with a Saudi woman’s hair, face or skin showing. In this culture, it can do great damage, whereas to people in the West, it would be regarded as just a normal photo. I can tell you though that I have never seen such magnificently dressed creatures anywhere else – except maybe on TV at the Academy Awards!

  14. Jerry M says:

    At least in the US, you can buy headles mannequins. So, you can put that image of a roomfull of heads looking for bodies, aside!

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