A Swedish retailer called Åhléns recently introduced plus-sized (for lack of a better term) mannequins. A blogger spotted the lingerie-clad mannequins, snapped a photo, the image started to surface on Facebook and Twitter–Women’s Rights News shared it with their half a million followers, etc–and the image went viral. According to one Swedish publication, “In just a few days the picture has received nearly 60,000 likes while shared by almost 18,000 people.” Neat!
So, two things.
1) This is great. Why don’t we have more mannequins like this? We already know size diversity is good for impressionable psyches everywhere and, since clothes shown exclusively on extremely thin women don’t necessarily sell well, it’s good for retailers too.
2) This is a great opportunity to remind people how not to talk about this stuff! The aforementioned Women’s Rights News posted the image with the caption, “Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these.”
…Which is sad because so often, when we try to promote size diversity, people use it as an excuse to hate on thin women and insinuate their bodies aren’t sexy or womanly or “real.” Let’s all agree that fetishizing extreme thinness is bad (especially in the overwhelming absence of other body types) but so is shaming women who happen to be thin and asserting they’re somehow less desirable because of their body types. Everyone clear on that?
Anyway. Great job, Swedish retailer Åhléns!