Mind The Gap – Skinny Fashion Mannequins – Are They A Good Idea?

The fashion industry is fickle and often driven by style directors keen to wave the next cool thing right in front of us. Historically designers and retailers or possibly art directors in media have done this with lazy respect for the responsibility they wield.

“What responsibility?” I hear you ask. Well in simple terms these people are in a position of power when it comes to influencing other people. None more so than the big brands. For a lot of them their audience is young people and a lot of them will be affected by the visions that style directors and the art directors push for a particular brand or season.

A friend of ours pointed us in the direction of The Gap and the mannequins they use. I haven’t been in Gap for a number of years, I’m perhaps not quite too “old” for the their clothes but I’m definitely too fat for them if their mannequins are anything to go by.

The Gap - Using super skinny mannequins

Mannequin Too Skinny?

Their mannequins are skinny, and please note dear reader not just thin, but broom stick thin. This is the image Gap present to the customer. A lot of their customers will be young, girls and young women who will (subconsciously) look at those mannequins and may think they need to look like that too in order to look cool, be super skinny to wear those clothes and carry off that particular look. Brands like The Gap (they aren’t the only ones) have immense power when it comes to influencing people and how they look. They should be more responsible in using this power.

There is endless debate about health and weight which will carry on indefinitely. Retailers and brands could and should be a little more conscious of their role in portraying a positive body that perhaps is closer to a healthy reality than is currently the norm. This is isn’t the first time this has been commented on. Gap were taken to task in the media last year over their use of super skinny mannequins.

I’m not ranting at Gap, just asking for some thoughtful consideration of the impact they may be having on their vast customer base and requesting that they take some positive action on this issue.

They have a responsibility to think about the style image they are presenting and potential effect it may have on young people, particularly young women. We all want to look good and dress well. There is a line that can be crossed and like everything there is an up side and a downside to crossing the line. All too often it is easy to ignore the darkness of the downside. They pretend it doesn’t exist and instead focus on the upside which is shiny and glamourous but laced with risk.

All too often the fashion industry finds itself on the wrong side of the line which is a shame.

Joanna

Vida Moda | Plus Size Designer Fashion For Women With Curves

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