Dum­mies make women feel fat

Mod­els Svelte man­nequins in­tim­i­date fe­male shop­pers

The Times (South Africa) - - News - By SUTHENTIRA GOVEN­DER

● Thin-waisted man­nequins with long legs and en­vi­able busts cre­ate self-es­teem is­sues for women shop­pers‚ a new in­ter­na­tional study has found.

The Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia study found that con­sumers with low self-es­teem were more likely to have a neg­a­tive re­ac­tion to cloth­ing on a man­nequin than those with higher self-es­teem.

Dar­ren Dahl said: “When that man­nequin is an ex­am­ple of per­fec­tion‚ it re­minds peo­ple who are vul­ner­a­ble that they don’t mea­sure up. The prob­lem is the beauty ideal that man­nequins rep­re­sent. When peo­ple feel they don’t meet that ideal‚ their view of the prod­uct dims as well.”

Par­tic­i­pants were first ques­tioned about their self-es­teem over their ap­pear­ance. They then eval­u­ated biki­nis and dresses on the man­nequins. When re­searchers knocked a man­nequin’s beauty down by mark­ing the face‚ re­mov­ing the hair or the head en­tirely‚ par­tic­i­pants warmed to the ap­parel.

Dahl said un­til now lit­tle was known about how man­nequins in­flu­enced shop­pers.

Lo­cal plus-size model Char­nelle Paulse said she could not iden­tify with su­per-slim man­nequins.

“I don’t know when last I got in­spired by a dress on a man­nequin. There’s no sense of re­al­ness or ‘I can wear that too’‚’’ she said.

Singer Tia Black said she has al­ways had an is­sue with man­nequins.

“They per­pet­u­ate the idea that women are sup­posed to be a cer­tain height and weight to be seen as at­trac­tive and th­ese mea­sure­ments are not at­tain­able as I am short and not a size four and never will be‚” said Black.

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