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Topshop say their mannequins aren't "meant to be a representation of the average female body"

The clothing store finally issued a response to yesterday’s mannequin controversy.

YESTERDAY, TOPSHOP FOUND itself at the centre of a controversy regarding the size of its mannequins after this image went viral on Twitter. The store was heavily criticised for what people saw as its failure to promote a healthy body image.

Since it was posted on Monday by student Becky Leigh Hooper, it has received almost 7,000 retweets and been picked up by the likes of E! Online, Buzzfeed and Seventeen Magazine.

Today, the store issued a response to the controversy in which they claimed that their mannequins are not intended to be representative of the average female body and stated that their mannequins are “stylised”.

Topshop has long made it a priority to showcase a healthy size image to its customer from the choice of models used in the campaigns, to the stories run online and on the blog.
The mannequins Topshop uses are not bespoke to Topshop and are supplied by a company that has been working with leading retailers for the past 30 years. The mannequin in question has been used in stores the past four years and is based on a standard UK size 10. The overall height, at 187cm, is taller than the average girl and the form is a stylised one to have more impact in store and create a visual focus.
Mannequins are made from solid fibreglass, so in order for clothing to fit, the form of the mannequins needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed; this is therefore not meant to be a representation of the average female body.

Some people have defended the store’s decision to use whatever size mannequin they want.

While others remain unconvinced by Topshop’s statement and see their reluctance to use plus-sized mannequins as a form of body-shaming.

People are pretty angry about this super skinny Topshop mannequin >

Walmart forced to apologise after offering ‘fat girl costumes’ section on their website >

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Amy O'Connor

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