Nope, you’re not imagining that store mannequins are unrealistically skinny — a new study has concluded that average ones are are the size of severely underweight women.
While researchers found that only 8 percent of male mannequins were classed as underweight, they found that every single female mannequin was “ultra-thin” — concluding that their size would be “medically unhealthy” for a woman.
For the England-based study, published in The Journal of Eating Disorders, researchers measured male and female mannequins at a number of stores across Liverpool and Coventry in the U.K. And despite some major fashion brands asserting that they now use larger mannequins, researchers found no evidence of this in any of the stores they visited.
Topshop recently came under fire for featuring extremely thin mannequins, which were supposed to have been banned in 2015.
Lead study author Eric Robinson, a behavioral scientist with the University of Liverpool, says that mannequins have a direct influence on the rise in eating disorders in the U.K.
“We of course are not saying that altering the size of High Street fashion mannequins will, on its own, ‘solve’ body image problems,” he said.
“What we are instead saying is that presentation of ultra-thin female bodies is likely to reinforce inappropriate and unobtainable body ideals, so as a society, we should be taking measures to stop this type of reinforcement.”
Robinson added, “There is no excuse for the continued use of emaciated mannequins.”