It begins with the mannequins

It begins with the mannequins

It begins with the mannequins
April 10
16:37 2018

Shopping for clothes is a stressful ordeal for me.

With wide hips and incredibly short legs, pants are a nightmare. Sleeves are often too tight, even when the shirt fits the rest of my upper body. If I buy the shirt in a larger size for my arms, then the shirt becomes too big.

The point is, I tend to avoid shopping.

It doesn’t help that the stores display their clothes on mannequin bodies that do not look like and are not built like mine. It’s discouraging to walk by dozens and dozens of mannequins that are all the same shape and size.

An important part of retail, especially window shopping or advertising, relies on if the customer can see themselves in the clothes being advertised.

And this is obviously difficult if all mannequins are wearing a size two.

Recently, there have been improvements.

The Missguided Mannequin campaign ushered in diverse-looking mannequins, ranging from hijabis to vitiligo.

A wonderful step in the right direction, it shows that it is possible to have women feel represented and comfortable. And even though the mannequins were still an incredibly small size, it’s the start of a more inclusive fashion advertising industry.

Because, after all, there are women that happen to be a size zero or a size two. They are not the problem.

The whole situation becomes a true issue when that’s all we see, skewing fashion mannequin sizes and advertising more to one side than the other.

It is time for it to be finally be O.K. to not fit into a specific size of jeans, for one’s body to look and feel different. And it should also be possible to find clothes to fit these kinds of bodies that happen to be as natural as a size two may be for someone else.

Breaking traditions is hard. Uprooting a whole industry, re-wiring the way professionals of this industry view their product, making clothes and market these clothes is a lot of work. But it’s not right that in 2018, a time of change in almost every field of life, women still cannot find clothes that are comfortable enough for them, made for them for their everyday lives.

Changing all of this, from the base, takes a sort of aggressive de-conditioning, but the reward is in the response.

Your customer base grows, the public feels like you stand for more than just an exclusive traditional brand fitting in with a larger and even more exclusive industry and you engage in a more challenging and diverse practice of fashion.

Featured Image: Illustration by Gabby Evans

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Maritza Ramos

Maritza Ramos

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