Topshop announced they will not be placing further orders for shockingly skinny dummies after Laura Berry, 25, a customer service assistant from Stroud, took a photograph of a dummy in Topshops Bristol branch and posted it on the stores Facebook page, asking bosses to take responsibility for the ‘‘impression you have on women and young girls.’’ In a matter of hours the message received more than 3,000 likes and generated more than 700 comments, including a response from the retailer. Similar concerns voiced by many other customers that were outraged with not only Topshops spindly dolls but also other high street brands with even smaller built dolls such as Zara and H&M.
With the mannequins height standing at 6ft1, the first thing that strikes you is its long skinny legs, bowed at the knees and no wider than most women’s upper arms. The arms too are unnaturally spindly, not to mention the tiny waist as though crushed by an invisible corset! Many ladies now walking into shops staring at the mannequins with not only admiration, but envy.
Topshop posted a public response. The mannequin was based on a UK size 10 but its proportions had been altered to have more of a visual impact and to allow clothes to be put on and taken off easily, but when measured the doll had a waist at only 25.5 inches, making it a size 6.
While the Topshop mannequin has a waist measurement of 25.5 inches, that wasn’t the thinnest on display. At the Spanish-founded clothes shop Zara, mannequins had a waist of 24.5in, while at H&M the skinny mannequin measured just 23.5in.
At Oasis, they were a minuscule 23in. To put that in context, according to the UK National Sizing Survey, the average British woman has a waist size of 33in (size 12). Even young women who wear size eight clothes generally have a 28in waist. The size of the thigh would be classed anorexic on a real person, so why are they promoting this size on a mannequin?
This is not the first time the super skinny mannequin debate has reared up a debate, when Primark’s mannequins were found to have concaved stomachs last July, while protruding ribs were shown on lingerie store la perla mannequins.
When mannequins were first introduced to British department stores in the late 19th century they tended to be larger, a modern size 14 or 16, because being heavier meant a person could afford to eat well. But over the years the mannequins have got taller than the average women and a lot skinner with arms and legs out of proportion.