I couldn’t believe what I saw when I was out shopping the other day, surely I’d been wrong, surely any self respecting shop wouldn’t display mannequins with visible ribs. But no, unfortunately what I saw was very much real and I admit it made me feel a little sick. What was the need for these skeletal mannequins? Tall, stick thin mannequins with almost hollow stomachs and carved out ribs were stood in the shop window displaying the clothes that this shop were selling, half of which were clipped into position as the shop didn’t even sell clothes that small. It made no sense to me, the mannequins definitely didn’t entice me to go into the shop. Instead they left me questioning myself about my own body and what our world has come to.
Size zero is a phenomenon that has hit the fashion world by storm over the past twenty years and has resulted in a multitude of problems across the modelling and fashion industry. Runways are full of skeletal girls battling eating disorders, shops display mannequins with impossibly tiny figures and the media portray this twisted parody of the human body as the epitome of beautiful. I’m not saying that thin women, and people in general, can’t be pretty, of course they can. All shapes and sizes are beautiful, but the problem starts when a particular body type begins to be presented as perfect and every other shape is discouraged.
For most people this stick thin body is an unachievable, unhealthy way to be as the only way to get to this weight would be through starvation or other unhealthy methods. So why are our high street shops displaying these mannequins which 99% of their customers can’t relate to?
In today’s world surely we should be trying to show that every shape is beautiful instead of focusing on a skeleton as our ideal. It’s hard enough to do that ourselves without the shops we visit depressing us even more. In a perfect world there would be a multitude of different shaped mannequins which we could all relate to, thus making us feel more confident, represented and included as we enter the shop.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get a photo of the mannequins in the shop I visited but I have found some photos online of similar mannequins being used in other shops. Of course, the pictures belong to the respective owners.
These mannequins supporting unhealthy bodies need to be stopped, I’m sure you agree. The sooner we promote beauty as being all shapes and sizes, the enter. Remember, we are all beautiful.
This post comes as the first in my new collection of posts, Fashion Police. I’ll focus on problematic areas within the fashion world and the latest news in the industry, I hope you enjoy!