Topshop is finally pulling controversial mannequins
Topshop mannequins went viral in July when Laura Berry posted a picture of one Topshop’s Facebook page, stating she was disappointed to see such a “ridiculously shaped” mannequin. This isn’t the first time the high street shop has attracted controversy with mannequins. In October of last year, Becky Hopper posted a similar picture of a dummy next to her friend, who is a size 8/10, accompanying the picture with tags such as #poorbodyimage and #irresponsible. Though Topshop defended themselves, stating their mannequins were “based on a standard UK size 10”, they have now stopped ordering this model.
Criticism of mannequins is on the rise as people are becoming more aware of the impact the fashion industry has on young people. Primark was under fire for using dummies with protruding ribs in July of last year. Instagram user Mel Fraser posted a picture of the mannequin in question stating she would “like to see mannequins being all different shapes and sizes rather than young girls thinking that this is the only way to be”. Primark responded soon after, saying they would not use the mannequins again.
Department store Debenhams chose a different approach in late 2013, introducing size 16 mannequins to reflect the average British woman. The retailer stated it wants women to feel comfortable in their bodies and urged other retailers to join in. A breath of fresh air for some, the response wasn’t all in favour of the retailer’s bold choice with The Telegraph running the headline “Size 16 mannequins make being fat ‘normal’” and accusing Debenhams of “normalising” being overweight.
With more and more people speaking up for body positivity and calling out retailers for perpetuating a single standard for beauty it is nice to see shops taking accountability. Be it by removing overly skinny dummies or introducing more variety, we’ve seen huge steps being taken in the right direction in recent years.