Embracing Curves in Retail

Curvy mannequin in the window of Ahlen department store in Sweden.

Curvy mannequin in the window of Ahlen department store in Sweden.

The average mannequin in the United States is a ladies size 4-6.  The average woman in the U.S. is a size 14.  That makes it difficult for the average woman to see clothing on a mannequin and accurately judge how it will look on her own body.  Over the last few  years there has been a shift in what we see in some store windows.

With celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian having a fuller bottom, we have seen the media ideal of a woman’s body embrace a more curvy figure.  Some stores have actually included special mannequins with bigger butts.  However, most are still the typical stick thin size 4-6.  I used to work in the retail industry and I remember having to pin clothing in the back of the mannequin because it was usually too big.  The only way to make the clothing look nice from the front was to tuck and pin the clothing for a good fit.

Recently mannequins in a store window has gone viral after a snapshot was taken and uploaded to Facebook.  These mannequins in the window of Ahlens department store in Sweden range from size 8-12.  This is still smaller than the average woman in America (Canada isn’t far off either) but, it still is a better representation of the curves of most women’s bodies.  The plus size women’s clothing industry is a 19 billion dollar business that shouldn’t be ignored.

I think it’s a healthy balance to show different body types in store windows.  It’s probably the best thing for business.  It not only serves the customer well but it also can foster a healthy self-image for women and girls with respect to positive body image.

What do you think?


2 thoughts on “Embracing Curves in Retail

  1. Think you are right.Things are changing now. Hoping for the best to happen so women can appreciate their body no matter their size. I hope same happen for plus sizes when it comes to shoes as well, as it sometimes difficult to get shoes for women with US size 11 and above.

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