TOPSHOP has agreed to stop displaying the specific style of mannequin that seriously upset a customer this week. The woman posted on her Facebook page asking the brand (the Bristol Cribbs Causeway store in particular) to take responsibility “for the impression you have on women and young girls”. Laura Berry was shopping in her local branch when she felt offended by the fact that every single mannequin had the same tiny waistline and long lean legs, and took to social media to express her anger over the brands “lack of concern for a generation of extremely body conscious youth”.
“As you are aware, the year is 2015. A time when I like to believe we are conscious of the harsh unrealities often imposed on us by the fashion industry (the Nineties is famous for its skinny runway models),” she wrote beneath a picture of one of the mannequins, tagging the brand. “Every day I am surrounded by strong women and men who struggle with the daily battle of body image. A subject which is now even covered by schools nationwide, educating the young on the reality of a human body and how unrealistic many photoshopped images are. So let me get to the point, I’d love to hear how you can justify the ridiculously tiny mannequins 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. Having said that, this mannequin is quite frankly ridiculously shaped.”
Berry is said to have felt so uncomfortable with the unrealistic advertising of the clothing in the store that “after taking this picture I used my size 10/12 legs to walk straight out of your store.”
The store has responded apologetically, leaving the comment “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.” on Berry’s personal facebook page, yet they have also dismissed her concerns and blamed the size of the mannequin of the fact that they are solid fibreglass so their form needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed easily.
Berry was not convinced by this feedback at all and has since set up an online petition, 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.”