Just to clarify here I am strictly talking about body type or shape. The mannequin issue is something I have been thinking about a lot since Debenhams brought out their size 16 mannequins designed to better represent the average woman in Britain. The average British woman is 5ft 3in (161.6cm), 11 stone (70.2kg) and a size 16. Looking at a photo of Jo Swinson MP (who I met recently so I know she isn't much taller than me [brag] [not brag]) with the larger mannequins towering over her I'd guess Debenhams have just gone with the size 16 bit of the average woman, no dummy is going to endure the humanity of the hemmed up trouser leg.
As writerHarriet Walker points out "For all their supposedly democratic proportion, they're still flat of stomach and toned of thigh. They're still a body that eludes even the most assiduous gym-goer. No Michelin man rolls here, thanks very much." these mannequins are not the every day figure you see pounding the floors of Debenhams or the High Street shape-wise and if you aren't able bodied you can forget any acknowledgement in the shop windows.
In the end the mannequins, whilst a step in the right, diverse, direction don't quite cut the mustard when it comes to emulating the people who might want to try on the clothes they are modelling. However there are now some new mannequins in town.
if you aren't able bodied you can forget any acknowledgement in the shop windows.
The models are radio host and film critic Alex Oberholzer, Miss Handicap 2010 Jasmine Rechsteiner, athlete Urs Kolly, actor Erwin Aljukic and blogger Nadja Schmid. Their mannequins are currently being displayed on a Swiss high street. Debenhams and the UK high street, take note.