Shoppers at a mall in Caracas, Venezuela were in for a shock when they spotted pregnant mannequins sporting the blue school uniforms that girls in the country wear until they are 15 years old.
Thankfully, this is not advertising a “16 and Pregnant” fashion line, but the mannequins are there to serve up a dose of harsh reality: the teen pregnancy rate is only increasing, with a girl under 18 years old getting pregnant every 3 minutes in South America, according to the UN. Further, 23% of all babies in Venezuela, are born to an under 18 year-old girl, an alarming figure that certainly needs a device equally surprising to get the message across and stir debate. Yes, they look creepy but that's exactly the point.
Charities Fundana and Construyendo Futuros are behind the controversial campaign and hope that their shock tactic will open up the discussion about sex education and force parents to talk to their kids about unprotected sex.
Thalma Cohen, president of Construyendo Futuros told Reuters, "It's amazing seeing people react as they walk by. This is such a taboo subject in Venezuela, we want people to talk about it. Some people get angry and complain. Others congratulate us.”
The mannequins, with uh, bulging bellies will be on display for a month and may appear in other malls around the country.