Swedish department store, Åhléns, has recently caused a stir with two of their mannequins — one roughly a size 10 and the other a size 12. Some praise this decision, saying it depicts a more realistic image of women’s bodies in a non-plus size specific store, while others argue that this could encourage obesity.
Obesity is not a new discussion and, regardless of whether or not we adopt mannequins of different sizes, the issue of weight and obesity isn’t going anywhere. More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese and, according to Business Insider, those labeled as “plus-size” account for approximately 67% of the apparel-purchasing population, bringing in a revenue of almost $16 billion, and that’s only expected to increase over the next few years.
Women of varying sizes make up a store’s consumer base, with most stores carrying up to size 14. Personally, I think it would make sense to adapt mannequins — and models — to these different shoppers, and it’s strange that this issue is controversial. Are people really going to complain that mannequins are more full-figured? I don’t think that those mannequins in the picture look obese, let alone encourage it. Those mannequins look like realwomen, and I’m ready to see some accurate-looking mannequins repping a different body type for a change. (But that doesn’t mean thin mannequins should disappear entirely, either! There’s nothing wrong with your natural size being on the smaller side, so of course those types of women should be represented too.)
Whatever the size, I also think that all mannequins should reflect healthy women, too. Wouldn’t that be a great image to promote?
The fashion industry needs to realize that their clientele aren’t one size fits all. And, if that’s true, why not represent that? I would love to walk in to a store where the mannequins portray authentic body shapes of all sizes. Women could see how clothing would really look on their body instead of just getting frustrated when they wait in line for a dressing room only to walk out saying it looked better on the mannequin.
All of the debate swirling around this topic make it sound like there’s something wrong with larger mannequins. That’s just not true. I think they’re a step in the right direction. It’s time that somebody got it right and altered our standard of beauty into something that’s honest, attainable and starts speaking for all body types — one mannequin at a time. [via Refinery29]