Child-sized mannequins in a South American country are creating a heated debate because they depict teen pregnancy.
Imagine walking around a shopping mall and seeing a pregnant mannequin. No big deal, right? Well, what if it was a child mannequin, wearing a school uniform? That may make you turn your head, which is the idea behind the display which was created by two Venezuelan charities.
Sex education is a big topic everywhere, but the Venezuelan charities responsible for this window display, Fundana and Construyendo Futuros, claim that teen pregnancy rates there are the worst in South America. The mini mannequins are certainly eye-catching, particularly since they are paired with the usual trappings of schoolchildren, including typical uniforms and backpacks.
Even though this is a great way to start talking about sex education and its importance in an area where the teen pregnancy rate is through the roof, some feel that this display is way overboard and encourages pregnancy, instead of the other way around.
No, they won’t encourage teen pregnancy. Kids aren’t going to see these pregnant plastic people and hope to be just like them someday. It’s not glamorizing pregnant adolescents. While the topic may not be a comfortable one for parents to broach with their kids, this display can actually spark a conversation a mom or dad might not have had with their child.
And the display is certainly garnering interest. In the video, you can see people slowing down and taking photos of the pint-sized preggos. It’s drawing looks, creating dialogue and inspiring conversation. How is that a bad thing?
“It’s amazing seeing people react as they walk by,” Construyendo Futuros president Thalma Cohen told Reuters. “This is such a taboo subject in Venezuela, we want people to talk about it. Some people get angry and complain. Others congratulate us.”
I would imagine it would be about the same reaction as if a similar display popped up here in the U.S. — half of the viewers scandalized, the other half realizing that there is a true need for dialogue and change. While the teen birth rate in our country isn’t as high as it is in Venezuela, it remains a topic that we can’t, and shouldn’t, hide from.