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JCPenny is hoping to attract more attention from consumers by breaking the mold of their mannequins.

The department store chain is featuring five figurines in their Manhattan shop that don’t look anything like the standard-issue model. That’s because they’re based on real people courtesy of “The Today Show“! It’s all part of the program’s “Love Your Selfie” series.

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For the project, the morning news show tapped a wheelchair-bound woman named Dawna Callahan, 6′ 1″ college basketball player Desiree Hunter, and former Army paratrooper Neil Duncan (he’s now a double amputee). Plus-size mom Beth Ridgeway also volunteered for the project. Ricardo Gil, who has dwarfism, signed up to be immortalized, too!

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At the unveiling, “Today” anchors announced that the show was looking for store that would be willing to use the models. JCPenny quickly stepped up to the plate. “We felt like this was a great opportunity to really make sure we were helping showcase the important subject of body image,” said JCPenny Senior VP of Marketing Debra Berman.

So far the mannequins have been met with very positive reaction. They’ll be on display until end of August as part of JCPenny’s When It Fits campaign.

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Between Nordstrom using Jillian Mercado in a recent campaign and this, we’re starting to see a trend among retailers. We hope it continues because inclusion is important and consumers want to see a reflection of themselves where they shop. Not only that, but they get a better idea of what the clothes will look like on them.


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JCPenny Models Store Mannequins After Real People & We Love It  was originally published on