East Dunbartonshire MP Jo Swinson has called for ‘skinny’ mannequins in high street shop window diplays to be replaced with more realistic ‘fuller figure’ ones.
The equalities minister blames the fashion dummies for causing low self esteem and eating disorders and is calling for plus size and petite mannequins to be introduced to combat these growing problems.
The senior LibDem MP says shoppers often get home and realise that their new purchase does not look as good on them and this causes depression and low esteem.
Despite the fact that the dress size of the average British woman has grown from 12 to 16 in a decade, stores still display latest fashions on size 10 mannequins.
Ms Swinson said: “The images we see are all pretty much the same – it’s as if there’s only one way of being beautiful.”
She has praised Debenhams who are preparing a range of size 16 mannequins for their store in London’s Oxford Street.
They also have an amputee, a Paralympic athlete, three models over 40 and one nearly 70 in their summer catalogue.
She added: “I would really like to see more retailers doing the same.
“Many customers want to see more realistic images in magazines, TV and on the high street.
“Having mannequins that reflect and celebrate our diverse society is a really positive way of achieving this.”
High street stores and fashion designers have been under pressure for a long time to stop reinforcing an unrealistic ideal.
The “waif” culture and images of very thin women in magazines has been blamed for causing eating disorders, particularly for impressionable teenage girls.