The Swedish Mannequins
I think you are here because you’ve seen the photo I took of the “fuller-figured” (normal-figured!) mannequins that is currently being shared on social media. So, I thought I’d add a page in English with some background and info about the media buzz that’s been going on since the picture went viral a couple of days ago.
I have just created the page SwedishMannequins.com where I hope that the discussion will continue.
In October 2010 I took a photo of the “fuller-figured” mannequins at a Swedish department store and posted it on my blog, with a positive note of how “real” and healthy it looked. During the last couple of days, the picture has received international attention and caused debate over the world.
How did it happen? Well, on Tuesday 12th of March, the Facebook Group Women’s Rights News posted the photo on their Facebook wall. A few days later, on Friday 15th, the Canadian radio channel The New HOT 105.5 posted the photo on their wall and it received massive attention. More Facebook pages followed and the photo has been liked more than 1,4 million times in total on Facebook by now! Wow. Read more about the background and story, as well as the media coverage.
The photo is not from H&M – it’s from Åhléns
The first couple of days, a lot of newspapers wrote that the photo was from H&M. Which is not true, they are from the Swedish department store Åhléns. In fact Åhléns claim to be the only company in Sweden who currently has these mannequins and they have had it for a couple of years already. The misconception around the image might be due to the fact that I mentioned H&M in the blog post, actually criticising their extremely skinny mannequins as I had visited their store the same day. I am guessing a non-Swedish speaking visitor found the photo and simply assumed it was H&M.
After H&M had been contacted by media, they said it wasn’t their mannequins and didn’t know where it came from. That made newspapers such as The Washington Post and others write that it was in fact “a hoax”. That made me reach out on Twitter and Facebook to try to get the story straight. Now, most articles are updating their information to say that the mannequins are actually from Åhléns. And of course I hope that Åhléns will get credit for their great choice in mannequins and that other retailers will follow.
And now what?
I’m happy that I took this picture and I love that it has gone viral. Now I hope that the debate and media buzz have caught the attention of retailers and that it might inspire them to throw some of those size 0 mannequins in the bin. Let us all keep challenging the unhealthy ideals that exist in the fashion and retail industry. I will do what I can to get companies to listen and re-think their choice.
Feel free to share the photo
Please link to www.swedishmannequins.com (or otherwise www.becka.nu / my blog post / this page) when you publish the photo. If you want the photo in a higher resolution, you can download it here: Download photo in higher resolution.
Very short bio
Translation of my original blog post:
“Look what I found at Åhléns!
The mannequin on the right actually resemble the size of a real person. So nice! She is still slim, but it looks healthy. I like.
At H&M on the other hand I saw a completely crazy skinny mannequin. I forgot to take a picture, but yikes. Absolutely terrible, the waist was like the size of my shin.”