Topshop Apologizes For Ultra Thin Mannequins
Due to customer complaints, Topshop removed a super thin mannequin from its store displays. It all started with a complaint posted by Laura Berry on Topshop’s Facebook page on July 22, when the UK-based woman shared a photo of a very thin mannequin wearing the brand’s jeans.
In the lengthy post, Berry describes her disappointment in the brand, and notes that Topshop doesn't display anything above a UK size 6 (US size 4), which she feels isn't the best choice or message for younger shoppers.
So today, I'm calling you out Topshop, on your lack of concern for a generation of extremely body conscious youth. I'm old enough and wise enough to know I will never be this size, but as we've all been impressionable teens at one point, I'm fairly certain if any of us were to witness this in our teenage years, it would have left us wondering if that was what was expected of our bodies.
The post, which gained over 3,000 likes on Facebook, got Topshop's attention, and the brand quickly apologized and posted a statement on Berry's post. "The view of our customers are extremely valuable and we apologize if we have not lived up to the levels of service that we aim to deliver," the statement says. Though Topshop didn't say that it would immediately remove the mannequins, it did note that the company would no longer order any of these specific mannequins going forward.
Topshop is definitely not the first store to come under fire for its choice of mannequins. Over the past few years, it seems that more and more customers are not having unrealistic representations as clothing displays, and have been taking to social media to spread the word.
Back in February, UK store Whistles was called out on Instagram for a mannequin that had an extremely visible collar and breast bone. The Insta user who snapped the pic noted that this would "definitely solve women's body issues." Whistles quickly responded to the post, and apologized, but called the mannequins a "stylised tool for visual merchandising."
In July 2014, another UK store, Primark, was forced to apologize and remove a mannequin that had protruding ribs. Mel Fraser, who posted the photo on Instagram, noted that the issue didn't involve skinny-shaming at all. "I'd like to see mannequins in clothing stores being all different shapes and sizes rather than young girls thinking that this is the only way to be," Fraser says in the post. Primark quickly responded, saying to Fraser that "the mannequin you describe will not be used in this way again."
One of the most notable mannequin controversies to date was with lingerie brand La Perla. The brand had a mannequin in its Manhattan store that, according to the Today show, had "a prominent rib cage, protruding hip bones and a concave stomach." After photos of the mannequin surfaced on social media, the brand decided to remove the mannequins from US stores. "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," the statement from La Perla says.