Women come in all shapes and sizes. Plastic mannequins, on the other hand, rarely do. The average woman in the UK is a size 16, but most British stores only display size 10 mannequins. The British women’s and equalities minister Jo Swinson has long been combating the narrow focus on thinner, whiter, younger models of feminine beauty in fashion; she writes, “[the image] is reinforced from the catwalks right through to shop mannequins.” She suggests a profoundly disturbing correlation between the lack of diversity in models and mannequins and the rising rate of eating disorders in the UK (and globally).
Thankfully, the British department store Debenhams has taken note and is introducing size 16 mannequins today. The new mannequins will stand alongside the usual size 10 mannequins in stores country-wide. The company’s director Ed Watson tells Telegraph that he and his colleagues “felt it was important to better represent what real women actually look like when advertising […] clothes.” The shift in marketing, evident in today’s mannequins and the company’s recent decision not to airbrush models has been a moral choice, and it’s also been a brilliant business move. Already, the company has saved a fortune on airbrushing. And I have a feeling these new mannequins will draw more costumers as well. Way to go, Debenhams! Hopefully some American department stores will follow suit.
Thanks to Telegraph
Image via Plus Size Model Magazine