Upscale lingerie designer La Perla has come under hot water this week for utilizing at least one mannequin that many have called too thin. Michael Rudoy tweeted this photo of a La Perla mannequin whose ribcage is visible:
— Michael Rudoy (@mrudoy) May 12, 2014
The mannequin was spotted in La Perla’s store in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. Numerous other people retweeted and responded to the photo regarding how negatively they felt about the mannequin, including Seth Matlin, an advocate for truth in advertising.
— Seth Matlins (@SethMatlins) May 12, 2014
Here’s the thing: I would actually not feel negatively towards this type of mannequin if the way mannequins were manufactured was different. If there was a significantly wider variety of mannequins, having a very thin one would not be nearly as big of an issue. This is not the case, however; in fact, despite the fact that mannequins are primarily made to be very thin, brands like Old Navy have even been caught photoshopping thigh gap onto them. They literally picked out and ordered a specific size of fake human, then decided that was still not small enough. Obviously, models are constantly photoshopped to look thinner despite being cast at least in part for their size; the industry norm is almost exclusively under a size 4, which to me is what makes the encouragement of a less-than-zero body type so problematic.
To La Perla’s credit, the label said regarding the issue:
“The mannequin photographed has been removed from the store and will not be used again by any La Perla boutique. We are in the process of redesigning all La Perla stores with a new concept image and the mannequins that are currently displayed in our US stores will no longer be used. We appreciate and value everyone’s comments, thank you for bringing this to our attention.”
Fortunately, they didn’t pull a “sorry you feel that way” pseudo-apology–those are always the worst. Hopefully (though doubtfully) this will push a bit of new thought into its “new concept image.”
Photo: Michael Rudoy/Twitter