Becky Hopper and her friend Georgia Bibby, both 23, were shopping at a Topshop in St Stephen’s Shopping Centre, Hull, when they noticed a mannequin who seemed unrealistically small.
“We walked into the shop and were in absolute shock at what faced us. The mannequins were thinner than any human being I have seen in my life,” Hopper wrote on her personal blog. In the picture, Hopper’s friend, Bibby, is posed next to the mannequin for comparison. Hopper wrote on Twitter that her friend is a size 8/10 to give the photo some context. (Note: An 8/10 in the UK is equivalent to a 4/6 in the States.)
Since the post, the picture has gone viral, retweeted almost 7,000 times and has created a conversation on social media about the unrealistic expectations and pressures that are placed on female bodies. “I think it’s possibly worse in the store than it looks on that photo,” said Hopper in an interview with Buzzfeed. “It appalled me, as it’s such a poor misrepresentation of the female body and just irresponsible from a company as big as Topshop.”
When asked whether or not the tweet had the intention of body shaming skinnier girls, Hopper responded: “That’s not the case at all. All shapes and sizes should be represented to young people, not just skinny.”
Asking for diverse mannequins is not an outrageous request, especially considering how Topshop still wants the money of its diverse demographic of consumers. The London-based clothing company issued a comment regarding the photo, stating: “Mannequins are made from solid fibreglass, so in order for clothing to fit, the form of the mannequins needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed; this is therefore not meant to be a representation of the average female body.”
So you’re showcasing clothes on figures that aren’t meant to represent the bodies they will be worn on? Hey, Topshop, you have some cute clothes and all, but next time you want to release a statement on the controversy you created, a simple “Sorry. Next time we’ll do better,” will do.
Image Source via Becky Hopper’s Twitter (@BeckyLHopper)