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Topshop pulls tall and skinny mannequins

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

29 Jul 2015

Fashion chain Topshop has confirmed that it will stop using its tall and skinny female store mannequins after a customer complained on Facebook.

Laura Berry, who was shopping at a branch in Bristol, posted a photo of the mannequin on the social media site and wrote: “Every day I am surrounded by strong women and men who struggle with the daily battle of body image. 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.

“This mannequin is, quite frankly, ridiculously shaped. Not one mannequin in your store showed anything bigger than a size 6. So today, I’m calling you out, Topshop, on your lack of concern for a generation of extremely body-conscious youth.”

Berry went on to add: “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.”

Topshop criticised for displaying “ridiculously” thin mannequins

In a response on Facebook, Topshop said that they think it’s important to showcase a “healthy size image” and that the mannequin was based on a standard size 10 and that the overall height of 187 cm is taller than the average girl and the form has been “stylised to have more impact in store”. Adding that the mannequin was not meant to be a “representation of the average female body”.

Topshop commented: “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. The views of our customers are extremely valuable and we apologise if we have not lived up to the levels of service that we aim to deliver.”

Berry has since set up an online petition on Change.org, appealing to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills "to establish a single standardised sizing category, to be recognised and used universally throughout the clothing industry.”

In the letter, Berry said: "Whilst all retailers have the right to cater for and market to specific individuals, I firmly believe that if a store stocks more than one size or supplies clothing to more than one body type, they have a responsibility to market this.”

Image: Laura Berry’s photo of the Topshop mannequin