Primark Mannequins: Why Is Size Shaming Still A Trend?
AH Penneys…Primark. Whatever you want to call it, it is a shop that is close to many an Irish girl’s heart. The words “Thanks, Penneys” are never too far from our lips and many a foreigner has thought that it was a traditional way to accept a compliment. Those unfamiliar with the store and its cheap and frugal goodness think we are all a bit mental but really it’s just a funny sort of love.
But for many, that stupid love turned to outrage recently when a U.K. branch was shamed for using a mannequin with jutting ribs and a concave stomach in a window display. A customer of the Glasgow shop shared a picture of the offending article on Twitter which spread quickly around the internet. Primark replied promising an investigation and that the window displays would be changed immediately. However, the damage was done. These mannequins are not only promoting an unhealthy body image but they are playing a huge role in the size-shaming trend that we see in the world today.
Of course, Primark are not the only shop to have been slammed for using mannequins like these. Earlier this year the lingerie label La Perla was criticised for their ultra-skinny mannequin in their Manhattan boutique which was quickly removed. Top high street players Gap and Zara have also been blasted in the past and in 2007, Spanish brand Mango agreed not to use mannequins smaller than a size six.
Big steps have been made in the fashion industry in recent years towards a healthier body image. Bigger women have been represented on the catwalk and stores like Debenhams have committed to using size 16 mannequins alongside their standard size 10 models. And hopefully this is only the beginning of the beautiful body campaign.
Size shaming is the act of making someone feel bad about their body. Be it by your peers or by the media, it’s very real. No matter if you are a size 0 or a size 24, everyone has days when they are body conscious but is shaming each other really the way to solve it? Everyone has a body and every body is beautiful. It’s about time that we learned that. Yes, being wafer thin may be the desired shape now but look back in history and the more buxom woman was all the rage.
Yes, a healthy body image should be promoted but remember, some people are just naturally thin. There are people out there that naturally look like the mannequin that has caused such a stir in Primark. This store does have a predominantly young customer base so it is up to them to promote a healthy image for the vulnerable teenagers and young adults that shop there. However, we should not be told that being thin is bad, just as we shouldn’t be told that being fat is disgusting. Positive body image starts with acceptance and a mixture of different sized mannequins in all shops could be a huge step in accomplishing that.
Photos c/o newslocker.com, healthyisthenewskinny.com