Shop mannequins are 'extremely underweight' and would be 'medically unhealthy' in humans
The average female mannequin used to model clothes in stores is the size of a severely underweight woman, according to a study.
The mannequins used to advertise female fashion are too thin and may be promoting unrealistic body ideals, researchers from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society found.
Researchers assessed the body size of male and female mannequins in a survey of national fashion retailers on the high streets of two cities in the UK.
Their study, published in 'The Journal of Eating Disorders', found that the average female mannequin body size was representative of a severely underweight woman, and 100pc of female mannequins represented an underweight body size.
The average male mannequin body size was significantly larger than the average female mannequin, and only 8pc of male mannequins represented an underweight body size.
The researchers concluded that the body size of mannequins used to advertise female fashion is unrealistic, and would be considered "medically unhealthy" in humans.
Dr Eric Robinson, who led the study, said: "We became interested in this topic after seeing some news reports about members of the general public noticing that some mannequins in fashion stores were disturbingly thin.
"Around the same time we had also read news coverage that fashion retailers had responded to this concern and adopted more appropriate sized mannequins, so it felt like an interesting research question to examine.
"Our survey of these two high streets in the UK produced consistent results: the body size of female mannequins represented that of extremely underweight human women."