Twitter Isn’t Too Happy About This Brand’s Ultra-Skinny Mannequins

British high street brand Oasis has some explaining to do after an image of an extremely skinny mannequin at one of its brick-and-mortar locations began circulating on Twitter this week. On Tuesday, writer Rhiannon Cosslett tweeted an image of a mannequin in Oasis' Westfield London location. Snapped by Cosslett's roommate Katherine Baker, the picture shows the figure from the chin down, black tights accentuating absurdly thin limbs and a dramatic thigh gap. Cosslett tagged the brand's official Instagram in her message: "This is disgusting, damaging, and irresponsible @oasisfashion, not to mention really weird."
The image has been retweeted over 100 times, with users responding to Cosslett with similar outrage. Many express disappointment in the retailer, pointing to the damaging effect this display could have on shoppers' body image. (Also, that the clothes don't look particularly good on the super-skinny display). "Our mannequins are not intended to symbolize real people, measuring over six feet in height and without distinct facial features, our store mannequins are highly stylized to represent an artistic prop and are in no way any attempt to accurately portray true-to-life proportions," an Oasis spokesperson told Refinery29. Some Twitter users echoed this sentiment, arguing that a mannequin isn't meant to be aspirational. However, given the negative response, Oasis "is committed to understanding the concerns of our customers and understand the recent debates which have unfolded and therefore the business is in the process of reviewing new mannequins styles," according to our contact. Oasis isn't the first retailer this year to face criticism for an excessively skinny mannequin — it's not even the first one in the U.K. Back in July, Topshop took action after a customer in Bristol complained about the overly slim legs of an in-store display: the retailer decided to stop ordering the offensive mannequin style in question. We have reached out to Cosslett for comment, and will update when we hear back.

Refinery29 reached out to Cosslett for comment. Of the image, she wrote via email: "While this is hardly the biggest crime the fashion industry has committed in terms of negative body image ideals, the fact that it is so far removed from what a healthy human looks like — yet is modeling clothes designed to fit healthy humans — should give female consumers pause. Is this really the kind of company that has [shoppers’] best interests at heart?"

Opener Image: Jeffrey Blackler / Alamy Stock Photo.

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