Friday 8 November 2013

Debenhams Embraces the Average Sized Woman

Hey Everyone!

Today I want to talk about the latest story in the news where Debenhams have released size 16 mannequins in their flagship Oxford Street store (Europe's busiest shopping street). I cannot even begin to say how refreshing it is for such a large high street brand to recognise that the average woman in the UK is not accurately represented by the size 8-10 mannequins gracing our clothing stores. This move by Debenhams is not only PR genius but will also bear relevance to most of the people reading this blog, if not most of the women in the country.

Looking at the new mannequin next to a standard size 10 one you can notice how the model is shorter, has wider hips, larger chest and curvier thighs. All of which I can absolutely relate too, much more so than the athletic figure.

When researching this story I found a quote from the Equalities minister Jo Swinson saying the below:
"Recent research found that women are three times more likely to buy clothes when the fashion models are their size, so I hope more retailers will recognise that meeting customer demand for more diversity makes good business sense."

As a blogger I couldn't agree with this more, when I see clothes on other bloggers of a similar size to me I can relate to that, and I can picture my own body in those clothes so much easier. If the size (18/20/22/24)  girl on my computer screen is rocking it, in my head I'm thinking "Yeah maybe I can too". I don't doubt for a second that sales would go up as a result of the clothes being marketed better and being made more accessible for the average member of the public. It's also important to state that the size 16  mannequins are not being put out as "plus size", they are AVERAGE. That's right, a size 16 doesn't make you obscenely fat or unattractive or any of the bad things anyone over a 12 is portrayed to be, it makes you NORMAL and you know what? That makes me feel that little bit better about myself!

Debenhams as a brand have delved in similar "statement" marketing moves before such as banning airbrushing in 2010 for a swimwear campaign and their diversity campaign which featured Stefanie Reid, a paralympian amputee. I like that they have the front to stand out from the other retailers and really grab people's attention in such a positive way. It's a sort of "it doesn't matter who you are, what you look like etc, we can cater for YOU" type message and it's being heard loud and clear by us women.

I am so excited by this news story and who knows, maybe other retailers will have the balls to follow suit. I know that for me at least it would improve my shopping experience and make me more inclined to visit any store embracing different/positive body shapes. The high street is coming on in leaps and bounds with creating plus size ranges giving us more options and beautiful clothes to choose from, let's now see them featured on the same bodies that are buying them.

I hope you enjoyed this slightly more opinionated post than I would usually write, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading! Love Sally X



  1. So happy to see this, no longer will I have to see a nice outfit on a mannequin and try and picture in my head if it will suit a figure like mine. Women shop to feel good about themselves whatever size so will be lovely to see mannuequins in a range of sizes too. Good ole debenhams!

    1. I agree, a range of sizes would be the ideal, then a wider range of people could actually relate more to the clothes!!


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