Models for Real People

Models for real people was the subject of an Internet meme that captured remarkable attention over the last week. It started with a Facebook post March 12, by Women’s Rights News. They posted the photograph above with the caption: “Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The U.S. should invest in some of these.”

Good health for girls and women includes a healthy image of the female figure. Unfortunately, the figure projected in magazines and stores is neither healthy nor real. Clothes on thin, willowy models almost never look so good on the person who buys the clothes hoping to look like beautiful models. Likewise, clothes on mannequins display the tiniest waists and shapeliest breasts. The clothes in a small size are often pinned together at the back of the mannequin for maximum effect. Presented with this fake ideal, girls and women can waste money and develop symptoms of depression and unhealthy eating. And all of this is a terrible distraction from a realistic approach to good health and happiness.

It’s good news that these realistic mannequins prompted an overwhelming response and it went viral. In reality, the mannequins just have the proportions of normal women. Are the titans of the media, fashion, and retailing listening?

Click here to read more in the Washington Post, here to read more at, and here to find the post that started it on Facebook.

Swedish Mannequins, image by Rebecka Silvekroon

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