Last year, Missguided was roundly praised when it stopped airbrushing its models' stretch marks and released a totally unretouched campaign. Now, there's yet another reason to cheer on the brand: its body-positive mannequins. According to UK-based media company Campaign, the fast-fashion retailer has introduced a diverse array of mannequins that represent a range of ethnic backgrounds and feature stretch marks and vitiligo.
The figures were created in-house with help from makeup artists and will be on display in Missguided's stores in Westfield Stratford City in London and Bluewater Shopping Center in Kent. They are part of the brand's ongoing #MakeYourMark campaign, which launched in December 2017 and encourages people to embrace their so-called "flaws" and reject what "the world perceives as perfection."
A study published in the Journal of Eating Disorders last year found that the average female shop mannequin in the UK looks very underweight, reinforcing an unhealthy “ultra-thin” ideal, which just goes to show the importance of Missguided's latest move. People need to see themselves reflected back at them when they go shopping.
The response to Missguided's decision to stop airbrushing its models was overwhelmingly positive, with people on social media hailing it as bold, refreshing and "a step in the right direction." "This makes me feel so much better, after seeing my stretch marks in a changing room mirror yesterday I nearly cried," one woman tweeted.
Missguided also says it is committed to changing attitudes towards body image within the fashion industry as a whole, so it will be interesting to see if any other fast-fashion retailers introduce the same modifications to their mannequins. And if that's anything to go by, perhaps other stores will adapt this move too.