Reconsider the size and proportion of your mannequins!
  • Petitioning JC Penney

This petition will be delivered to:

JC Penney

Reconsider the size and proportion of your mannequins!

    1. Dae Sheridan
    2. Petition by

      Dae Sheridan

      Tampa, FL

Dear JC Penney~

A few days ago I was in your store and one of your women’s mannequins in the center aisle was wearing a pair of your “super-skinny” jeans.  It was a staggering image that truly disturbed me. The legs on the mannequin were not just “super-skinny”, they were extraordinarily, shockingly thin.  So thin, that the mannequin’s leg was the same size as my arm!  So thin, that it made me stop, take a picture, and discuss it with my family, and not one of us could figure out who these pants were for.

Now, I realize that lots of people have, and will continue to walk on by, unfazed by that same mannequin.  Maybe it’s because they are busy with their back-to-school shopping, maybe it’s because they are more focused on other things… but my greatest fear is that nobody notices because of the way the media, retailers such as yourselves, and popular magazines portray the female body.

Nobody notices because of the saturation of an unrealistic thin-ideal and beauty standard in our culture which teaches girls and women to attempt to "achieve" impossible proportions. People walk by, faced with emaciated chic and famine fashion, because sadly, this is becoming our “new normal”. 

Super-thin images of unrealistic "perfection" are everywhere and lead healthy, beautiful girls to feel "less than." That internalized pressure, stress and shame leads to irrational thoughts about their bodies and a decreased sense of self-worth. The long term effects of bombarding girls with messages that say "you are not OK as you are” can include low self-esteem, body dysmorphia , problems with trust and relationships, anxiety, depression and other mood disruptions, self-medication with alcohol and other drugs, eating disorders, seeking external validation and suicide attempts.

According to a recent study, 81% of ten-year-old girls are afraid of being fat and adolescent girls were more fearful of gaining weight than getting cancer, nuclear war or their parents dying. I take no issue with skinny jeans or skinny people.  I love fashion and I recognize how important it is to keep yourself at a healthy weight. This is not about body diversity or fashion trends.  This is about a major retailer choosing to advertise with unrealistic portrayals of the human body. This was not a "thin" mannequin, it was two malnourished poles with jeans on them, and I refuse to encourage retailers to SELL this image to our children.

I posted that picture on my Facebook page and was overwhelmed by the responses I received.  I think my absolute favorite was the simple comment, "Legs are bigger than arms, people. Just be comfortable in your own skin."  I couldn't have said it better myself, JC Penney.  What about you?

You have made some lovely and generous gestures towards families lately, however I would much prefer that you consider the size and proportion of the mannequins you use to market your clothing so that my children feel good about themselves on the inside rather than having a snazzy free haircut making them look good on the outside.

Yours truly,

Dae C. Sheridan

Mother of  Two

Licensed Psychotherapist

Board Certified Clinical Sexologist

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor

Professor of Human Sexuality  


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 7,000 signatures
    2. Support is overwhelming!

      Dae Sheridan
      Petition Organizer

      THANK YOU thankyouthankyou to all who have signed and added your heartfelt comments. I read every single one of them and I will continue to work to get this out there. The petition was recently featured in the Huffington Post, and Please keep sharing so we can send the message that these unrealistic images ARE harmful! #LegsAreBiggerThanArms!

    3. Reached 6,000 signatures
    4. #LegsAreBiggerThanArms

      Dae Sheridan
      Petition Organizer

      I have upped my signature goal to 55,000... one for every mannequin that JCPenney purchased this past year. I can not begin to express my appreciation for all of your support and the amazingly powerful comments! We can show our children that their worth has NOTHING to do with the size of their jeans.

      If you are on Facebook, please follow me and on Twitter If you share this petition, please use the hashtag #LegsAreBiggerThanArms. Let's get JCPenney's attention! THANK YOU!

    5. Reached 3,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • John Fortman COLUMBIA, MO
      • 17 days ago

      My wife has a very strong negative body image. No one should have to live like that.

    • Pixie S. EASTON, MA
      • 3 months ago

      I am curvy. My entire family denies it and tries to ignore it because they've been taught that it's ugly and wrong. I'm not ashamed of my body - I'm ashamed of what people THINK about my body and what people think I should think about my body. And these mannequins aren't helping. It's fine to have some skinny ones, but also throw in some heavier ones, too. Humanity is diversity, and isn't it time that our plastic models represented that as well as they can? And THEY can't do it without US, so WE have to change our thinking. Curves are fine! The mannequins don't care, and neither should we.

    • karen Polite LANCASTER, PA
      • 3 months ago

      i am diversity

    • Natosha Brown KEY LARGO, FL
      • 4 months ago

      When I worked at Penny's, I tried my BEST to push the idea of "Normal Sized", and "Plus Sized" mannequins for our store. The DM(District Manager), and the CEO DENIED my request. Even after getting over 500 signatures IN PERSON from the town. I wish you luck on this, and I HOPE it finally gets through their heads!

    • Julie Bowlin STATESVILLE, NC
      • 5 months ago

      Our daughters and sons are already bombarded by unrealistic images of what they should be in the media. How do the smaller mannequins benefit JC Penney? Besides if you are advertising an outfit wouldn't it make more sense to show what it would reasonably look like actually on the majority of your customers?


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