Even though the Mannequin Challenge is thought to be a new trend, the same concept was actually trendy in the 1800s in Victorian England. At the time it wasn’t called the ‘Mannequin Challenge’ as such but its concept was especially famous. This era also marked a time for tattoos and piercings, ouija boards and all sorts of occult experiments. It’s safe to say that Victorians had wild imaginations!
Nineteenth Century middle and upper class Victorians enjoyed a series of (sometimes weird) trends. One of these trends, for example, consisted of photo tricks that involved combining images from two or more negatives to create novelty portraits and trick photos. As some people had morbid imaginations, they created pictures representing themselves… beheaded (with their heads usually on their laps or on plates).
According to the Mail, people referred to these frozen-in-time videos as tableaux vivants, or ‘living pictures’. A scene from literature or history would be recreated and Victorians would strike a pose for their friends’ and guests’ entertainment. They would act out up to 10 different scenes over the course of an evening.
There are a lot of silly internet trends out there but the Mannequin Challenge may be one of the only ones to have historical roots.