There’s been a huge emphasis on body type lately in the fashion industry. Yesterday I introduced you to plus-size model Tess Holliday who embraces who she is. Victoria’s Secret is talking about adding a plus-size model to their Angel runway shows to effectively represent their range of bra and undie sizes. And now, Topshop, the junior chain store out of London has just been attacked for their mannequins being too skinny.
Laura Berry lambastes the store, “I’d love to hear how you can justify the ridiculously tiny mannequin 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.” She goes on in another rant accusing them of thinking they’re superior and insensitive, then brags how she took her size 10/12 legs and walked out the door.
OK! STOP people! Just STOP!!! It’s a display! It’s one thing to be proud of what size you are, but when you start picking on helpless mannequins, that’s just wrong! And if you’re truly happy with who are, you won’t be hating on other body types! It’s contradictory! Maybe Topshop just wanted to show how the outfit looked pulled together? Displays come in all shapes and sizes too. It’s an art form, the art of merchandising. Now you’re offending the artist who made the form. (That’s wrong too!) When we first opened Roadkill we made our own displays from wooden poles cemented in buckets. We were on a budget, and honestly couldn’t afford to buy mannequins, but wanted to display full outfits. Twenty-two-years later, we have finally acquired our very own mannequin.
She came to us when my friend Corky spotted her at the garage sale of a mutual friend Cristal Drake. I was being tagged left and right on social media to rescue her (and she did need rescuing, she was scantily clad at the time of the sale). I picked Maribel the mannequin up (yes, she was already named), and took her down to the boutique where Sydney glammed her up her in a pretty dress and accessories. Ever since then, she’s been one of the girls. We talk to her, we take her to our events, we make sure she looks good in the spotlight of our window and when she doesn’t cooperate a dress change, we get frustrated with her (it’s not easy removing body parts to dress mannequins). According to my staff, when things are left undone, Maribel is to blame. Apparently, she magically comes to life at night and rules the store. She tries on clothes, leaves messes and parties like a rock star. (We’re all a little mad around here.)
My point? Quit picking on dress forms. Boutique owners don’t wake up in the morning with the mind set of, “Who can we offend today?” We just want to display the newest merchandise. And, mannequins are people too!!! It’s true! Did you know there’s an actual law in Georgia prohibiting the changing of clothes of a storefront mannequin unless the shades are down? (I’d like to think this law is to protect the mannequins. Wink.) Check it out on http://www.totallyuselessknowledge.com
Seriously though, if you love who you are it will show, you won’t be hating on other body types or inanimate objects. If you’re not happy with who you are, make some changes. We all have choices and a free will. Just don’t choose to berate Maribel, she’s also got a temper and she’s not afraid to use it!
The first pic is of the Topshop mannequin in question.
The second pic is the day Maribel became a Roadkill Girl.
The third and fourth pics are at Slide Bar during our Roadkill Rocks drink launch party. (That’s another story.)
Top: Maribel, Marlena Khamrov, Sydney Beaver, Julie Rasmussen, Savannah Kaefer and Barbara Vornholt.
Bottom: Jeremy Popoff (owner of Slide Bar) and Julie Rasmussen.
The fifth pic is of Maribel on Instagram. I didn’t bother cropping out our Instagram info just incase you’d like to join us. Check out more pics of Maribel by using the hashtag #maribelthemannequinisfabulous.
I hope everyone has a great day!
Photo Credit: Laura Berry, Julie Rasmussen