Wednesday 26 July 2017

Dear dummy... 'normal' is just another label

Whether shop mannequins are too slim is a distraction we don't need. There is no such thing as a normal body, writes Sophie Donaldson

On a roll: Amy Schumer’s stomach is just another variation of what bodies look like
On a roll: Amy Schumer’s stomach is just another variation of what bodies look like
Sophie Donaldson

Sophie Donaldson

Another piece of kindling has been thrown into the fiery debate around body image, in the form of a research paper released last week from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society.

It was a study of the size of shop mannequins - and whether they have detrimental effects on body image (of humans, not other mannequins). The research was published in The Journal of Eating Disorders and is available to read in its entirety online.

Because no shops would let the researchers in to measure their mannequins, they instead relied on a visual rating scale to determine whether the mannequins were deemed underweight. The study found that 100pc of the female mannequins were "medically unhealthy". Its publication prompted headlines reporting "unrealistic" and "disturbingly thin" mannequins, although the paper surmises its findings with this:

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