Let’s face it, it’s nothing new to see a fashion retailer being called out for using a shop mannequin that’s nothing like a real woman’s body. This time it’s Oasis who are under fire for displaying this season’s trends on a dummy that looks like no person any of us have ever seen in real life.
It was brought to the attention of the Twittersphere by writer Rhiannon L. Cosslett:
— Rhiannon L Cosslett (@rhiannonlucyc) October 20, 2015
The stick-thin, misshapen legs, the thigh gap you’d need a bridge to cross… it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes this mannequin so weird. But is that the whole point? Is it ridiculous to even compare this type of mannequin to a real human body? As one Twitter user commented: “Ive never met anyone who wanted to look like a dummy. Its literally a piece of plastic. Not a role model (sic).”
Unfortunately, for anyone with a negative body image, not to mention a whole generation of body-conscious young girls who are bombarded with images of the “perfect” figure across all media, it’s a great deal more than a piece of plastic.
In a statement to HuffPost UK Style, a spokesperson for Oasis said the “mannequins are not intended to symbolise real people.”
“Measuring over 6ft in height and without distinct facial features, our store mannequins are highly stylised to represent an artistic prop and are in no way any attempt to accurately portray true-to-life proportions.”
However the spokesperson went on to say that Oasis is “in the process of reviewing new mannequin styles.”
Too-thin mannequins aren’t responsible for body image issues and eating disorders. But they are adding unnecessary fuel to the fire. And until shops start responding to the demands of their customers, and use dummies with proportions that are realistic for a greater number of people than a size 8, 6ft-plus shape, the fuss isn’t going to die down.