Recently I shared an image via social network of a mannequin on display in a local Topshop store, in an open letter to the clothing company.
The mannequin in question has been confirmed by Topshop as 'based on a standard UK size 10.' The response to my open letter then went on to state that 'The overall height (187cm) is taller than the average girl and the form is stylised to have more impact in store'.
What happened next was astounding.
Many of the responses to my open letter showed that many women of a variety of body shapes and sizes have struggled with Topshops sizing, along with other stores too. Most advised they have left the stores feeling sad that they could not find the size garment they seemed to need, or that they simply did not know how to even begin to find a size that would fit them.
There are people that are so intimidated by the image of the store, that they are too anxious to go in as they feel embarrassed about their size and shape, compared to the size and shapes being portrayed by their advertising.
What shocked me more however, is the stories shared by parents of young girls, who felt the need to have a certain body shape in order to look 'right' or 'good'.
It is well documented on many platforms that body image is beginning to have a larger impact on the way we view ourselves.
Whilst all retailers have the right to cater for and market to specific individuals, I firmly believe that if a store stocks more than one size or supplies clothing to more than one body type, they have a responsibility to market this.
Currently in many retail stores only one 'model' of the human body is used. Whilst some promote and use other body shapes in their marketing, this is minimal compared to the number of companies selling clothing.
Following the feedback my open letter received, I would like to see this petition reach those with the ability to change legislation. I and many others would like to see a standardised sizing category recognised and used universally throughout the clothing industry. Leading to all retailers promoting their variety of sizes across all advertising platforms from mannequins to campaigns.
Please help change the way our society promotes body image by signing this petition. If we can change the way we experience shopping, perhaps we can change the media representation too. Preventing an unhealthy 'ideal' when it comes to the Female and Male body, impacting further generations of consumers.