There is so much controversy at the moment about body shaming which is focusing on shaming fit and healthy bodies as well as larger fuller figured bodies. It’s not so much shaming the super fit, muscular female form but the use of it making those without a body like that feel inadequate and forced into unnatural and unhealthy practices (SOMETIMES) to get a body like that… let’s face it women’s bodies were not meant to have overly defined muscles, six packs and rock hard buns with chests and other parts inflated with silicone. Nor were they meant to be dangerously overweight and promotion of that as OK or normal is being slated too, fearing that it will only contribute to the rise in obesity. Both camps have a point.
I think it fair to say they are both extremes and I also think it fair to say that if the people who look like that are healthy in body and mind and are happy then who cares what they look like? I certainly don’t think it is anyone’s business to get upset about it. Yet people are getting really upset about it, angry about it even and you have to wonder what they hate about themselves that makes them so nasty towards people they’ll never meet and who make no difference to their lives. Live and let live and all that. Super fit doesn’t mean the person lives on whey powder and never leaves the gym just like super fat doesn’t mean the person is loveless and never leaves the GPs office.
What is good to see and something I do consider to be healthy is the use of mannequins in fashion stores which better represent average women’s sizes and more natural body shapes of women, if there is a normal shape. I think the representation of a normal body, as in one that is nourished well and moves enough, whether it is slightly overweight or underweight doesn’t matter, the fact that it represents reality is the important thing.
So it’s good to see that a Swedish store is in the news this week for using realistic models in its stores and has a UK size 12 and a UK size 16 showcasing lingerie. What is evident from both to me is that neither are grotesque, neither look unhealthy, neither should attract too much attention, they are both perfectly OK. Debenhams in the UK also uses a size 16 mannequin which again, doesn’t look massive. I think we need to get a grip on this body size shaming thing… lots of us would rather look like the size 16 mannequin than an Olympic pentathlete anyway, lots of us don’t feel the need to have a fitness body to show that we are healthy and fit, we know we can have that size 16 body and be healthy and fit, we’re living in the real world and we’re rational.
I’m glad to see things like this. I think this is the way forward not a tit for tat between fitness bodies and obese models.
I know someone who works in fashion retail and she told me another reason larger mannequins are not used… something totally nothing to do with appearance, impression or anything else… she said that mannequins are very heavy and a pain in the bum to dress, so the smaller the better. Her store had some plus sized mannequins to dress with their plus sized ladies range but the staff were just having too much trouble and too many accidents dressing them and so they requested that they had them removed… if they had their way all clothes would be on kids mannequins.. nothing to do with image, pure and simply to do with convenience.