Glassons drew wide condemnation from the public in October last year when it sent out a mannequin with visibly protruding ribs. More than 18,000 people signed an online petition against the mannequins. Christchurch founder Meg Randall said “I believe this is something we need to take action on because the mannequins currently being used in some stores further perpetuate the idea that ‘skinny’ is the ideal… As a relatively big player in the retail industry in NZ, Glassons are setting a precedent in this area and it is concerning that this could become the norm in women’s clothing stores.”
Hallenstein Glasson chief executive Graeme Popplewell initially defended the move, telling Fairfax that if the offending mannequins were human women, their BMIs would be within the healthy weight range, but the chain later issued the below apology on its Facebook page.
Global magazine GOOD has this week produced a history of the mannequin, looking into when we first started using them, and how they reflect current attitudes about fashion and physicality. The article says mannequins from the 1920’s were usually smiling, but the figures lost their cheer after the Great Depression, eventually becoming replaced by “soldier’s bodies” during World War II. We wonder what Chad Michael Morrisette would make of Glassons’ ribbed mannequin.
Do you have any vintage or unusual mannequins hiding in your storage areas? We’d love to see them! Send your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to us at @the_register.