Most fashion designers continue to ignore the growing segment of buyers that wants plus size clothes. Fashion is so thin-centric that plus size mannequins can cause a huge controversy just by being displayed in a lingerie store. With fuller thighs and softer stomachs, plus size mannequins represent a lot of women, yet they’ve been called out for encouraging obesity.
Plus Size Mannequins in Sweden
Photos taken in a department store in Sweden have been making the rounds online showing plus size mannequins in skimpy lingerie. While most of the feedback has been positive, there are plenty of vocal critics that claim the full figure promotes an unhealthy lifestyle.
While the average American woman is a size 14, most store mannequins range only between size 4 and 6, creating a big gap between reality and the ideal proportions promoted by the fashion world.
Plus Size Mannequins Controversy
While the image was at first associated with H&M, the retailer has denied they’re using plus size mannequins, but didn’t rule out displaying them in the future. Shot in an Åhléns store, the plus size mannequin photo actually dates from 2010, but the Swedish retailer has been displaying them as far back as 2007.
Why the controversy? Many women have praised the realistic proportions of the plus size mannequins, but they’re not alone. Arguments like the fact that the mannequins look overweight seem to be based on a mentality that allows bullying and shaming people into losing weight. Unfortunately, people who are actually overweight often find comfort in food when facing pressure about their body image.
The Future of Plus Size Mannequins
Since the average weight is on the rise globally, not just in developed nations where obesity is becoming a problem, plus size mannequins will surely become a reality soon enough.
Some defenders of plus size models and mannequins are actually upset their display is considered progress, accusing the fashion industry of promoting an unhealthy weight ideal.
Many designers have been accused of using size zero models that are too thin on the runways, and the recent plus size mannequins controversy shows that many still consider weight as a huge issue, even if the BMI shows that women with natural curves are just as healthy, if not more than women who starve themselves to fit to the ideal body images which they face daily in the media.
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