Topshop will no longer display its clothing on freakishly tiny mannequins after British shopper Laura Berry posted a complaint on Facebook.
“I’m calling you out Topshop, on your lack of concern for a generation of extremely body conscious youth,” Berry wrote. “Perhaps it’s about time you became responsible for the impression you have on women and young girls and helped them feel good about themselves rather than impose these ridiculous standards.”
Dear Topshop, having been paid yesterday, I decided to spoil myself by purchasing a new pair of my favourite Jamie jeans. However, I was stopped in my tracks by the mannequin in the picture I’ve shared with this post. As you are aware, the year is 2015. A time when I like to believe we are conscious of the harsh unrealities often imposed on us by the fashion industry (the 90’s is famous for its skinny runway models). Every day I am surrounded by strong women and men who struggle with the daily battle of body image. A subject which is now even covered by schools nationwide, educating the young on the reality of a human body and how unrealistic many photoshopped images are. So let me get to the point, I’d love to hear how you can justify the ridiculously tiny mannequin in your Bristol Cribbs Causeway store? We come in all shapes and sizes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being the size you naturally are. I believe we should all feel comfortable in our own skin. Having said that, this mannequin is quite frankly ridiculously shaped. Young women aspire to the somewhat cult image your store offers. Which I’m sure you’re aware by your sales figures and hashtags on Instagram. Yet not one mannequin in your store showed anything bigger than a size 6. Intact I’m not even sure the one in the picture is even that. So today, I’m calling you out Topshop, on your lack of concern for a generation of extremely body conscious youth. I’m old enough and wise enough to know I will never be this size, but as we’ve all been impressionable teens at one point, I’m fairly certain if any of us were to witness this in our teenage years, it would have left us wondering if that was what was expected of our bodies. To be honest, I’m sure many clever, strong and beautiful women of any age are made to feel insecure by your mannequins and advertisements. Numerous studies have been carried out on the effect of unrealistic mannequins in stores and numerous stories have been shared in the media too. So what makes you feel you can ignore everything that’s been said and considered by other high street stores and even some high fashion designers? What makes you so superior Topshop? Perhaps it’s about time you became responsible for the impression you have on women and young girls and helped them feel good about themselves rather than impose these ridiculous standards. (I can’t speak for your Topman chain, sorry to the males of the UK). I know I’m not alone, and though some may disagree with me, many will join me in asking you to finally change your ways. Even if you ignore this post, I’m hoping many will read it and share it to show solidarity. I hope it helps others realise that this is not what every woman or girl should look like. Be comfortable in your skin ladies, and may any changes you choose to make be your choice, for the reason of good health rather than what is perceived as fashion. Thanks for reading this, Laura. P.s just so you know, after taking this picture I used my size 10/12 legs to walk straight out of your store.
Topshop responded to Berry in a public post just one day later, noting the company’s dedication to showcasing “a healthy size image” and that the mannequin on display is based on a UK size 10, which is like a US size 6, which is a load of horse shit. Those legs are not size six legs.
“As the mannequins are solid fiberglass, their form needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed easily; this is therefore not meant to be a representation of the average female body,” the post continued. “That said, we have taken yours and other customers’ opinions and feedback on board and going forward we are not placing any further orders on this style of mannequin.”
Also, while we’re on the topic of Topshop being not awesome, every pair of shoes I’ve ever bought from there broke immediately. So, like, fix that also.
Contact the author at email@example.com.
Image via Shutterstock.