In a new study by Liverpool University in the UK; which was also published in the Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers working on a survey of national fashion retailers found female mannequins on high street were severely underweight in size and promoting bad health.
Dr Eric Robinson, who led the study said: “We became interested in this topic after seeing some news reports about members of the public noticing many mannequins in fashion stores were disturbingly thin.”
Dr Robinson and the team from the university’s institute of psychology, health and society examined a total of 32 mannequins for the study, located in two different UK city high streets. And out of the 32 mannequins assessed for the study, all of them were found to have an unrealistic body weight, which didn’t match that of the female population in the UK.
However, this isn’t the first-time shop mannequins have been under the spotlight for being too thin.
In 1992, researchers surveyed a handful of mannequins from the 1930s to the 1960s and concluded real woman of a similar body size to that of the mannequins used to display woman’s fashion would have been so thin they wouldn’t have been able to even menstruate.
Even earlier this year, Topshop was also criticised by many parents for displaying mannequins far too thin, claiming they looked like victims of famine. And this was after Topshop stated back in 2015, they would no longer be using mannequins which were too thin.
Chief Executive of the National Council of YMCA, Denise Hatton said: “It’s shocking to see the return of the ultra-thin mannequins at Topshop, especially only two years after the retailer said they would stop using them. Once again young women and girls are presented with an ideal body type that’s unrealistic and unhealthy for the majority of people to achieve.”
And although not everyone will develop an eating disorder from having ultra-thin mannequins on display, wearing the latest fashion trends, the academic community are pretty convinced the promotion of ultra-thin mannequins can contribute to many eating problems which exist in society today.