Gap's Death-Camp Chic mannequins

My intrepid wife snapped this pic in a Gap store in London, where a dangerously emaciated mannequin was showing off the frankly named "Always Skinny" line. I'm wondering what the internal project name for this was at Gap HQ: "Death-camp chic"? "Ana Pride"? "Famine fashion forward"? In any event, you're apparently not supposed to purvey the secret nature of Gap's starving clothing displays outside of the shop, as a clerk gave my wife a savage ticking-off for snapping this shot.


    1. I’ve got no Gap ad; just three instances of “Hunger Crisis in the Horn of Africa” from WFP.

  1. > a clerk gave my wife a savage ticking-off for snapping this shot

    Did she get the clerk’s picture? :D

    Well, maybe this isn’t the exact best time to be doing something that could draw police attention in that part of the world.

  2. Of course with these mannequins lots of young women see them as models of the perfect woman, so you’re going to see lots of them cutting their heads off just to be more like them. Which is fine if you’re a supermodel, but real people just can’t live up to that.

    1. Neither can some supermodels they are always being busted doing coke or something they are hardly “real” or should they be praised for being capable of puking up what they eat.

    1. I wonder if the opposite is true?  If the mannequins were obese would there be potential harm?  What’s the acceptable size of a mannequin?  

      1. That’s a good question. One thing that I’ve always found interesting is that the mannequins at Lane Bryant (a women’s plus-size store) are larger than the average mannequin, but still smaller than the smallest size they sell in the store. The clothes are always pinned back to make them fit on the mannequin without being hugely baggy. Maybe mannequins are designed to reflect how shoppers like to *think* they look?

  3. > a clerk gave my wife a savage ticking-off for snapping this shot

    I want to see the manager. If you don’t want me to take a photo of this pathetic exploitive crap, take it down. WTF are you revelling in anorexia, you sick puppies?

    1. The clerk wasn’t “revelling in anorexia”, just following orders to not allow photography in the store.  You aren’t allowed to take pictures in pretty much any store or mall,

    2. > I want to see the manager. If you don’t want me to take a
      > photo of this pathetic exploitive crap …

      I would have focused (heh) on the clerk.

      Clerk, rapidly approaching and waving hands: “Sir! Sir! Stop that! No pictures! You can’t take pictures in the store.”
      Me: “What, like this?” *click!*
      Me: “Or like this?” *click!*
      Me: “Or maybe with the flash?” *flash-flash-flash-click!*
      Me, looking at the display, then turning it so the clerk can see: “Hey, check it out, this makes a nice series.  I think I’ll call it ‘Faces of Apoplexy’.  You look good in beet red.”

      I’m not going to suggest that someone else — Cory’s wife — should harass the clerk for yucks, but if it were just me …

  4. I hate the whole skinny fashion thing.  (And even did back when I was skinny myself.)  However, I’ve also worked fashion retail, and those mannequins can be a bitch to dress, and the skinnier they are, the easier that job gets.

  5. While a shop assistant could *politely* ask a shopper to refrain from taking photos in the store, last time I went in a Gap, there was no security-checkpoint style “PHOTOGRAPHY VERBOTEN” sign at the entrance.

    There is no blanket expectation of privacy in a public place, and no ban on public photography in the UK (bar some very limited situations – like Trafalgar Square or the BT Tower).

    I would have called for a manager, but then I’m prone to arseyness and haven’t got a day-job at the moment…

  6. Believe it or not, adults come in that size and it’s not an insult to people of other sizes that The Gap sells clothes that fit.


    1. “Believe it or not, adults come in that size and it’s not an insult to people of other sizes that The Gap sells clothes that fit.”

      They do? Where? I have a friend who, for medical reasons, literally hasn’t gained weight since grade school who is not that skinny. I have seen photos of corpses in the Holocaust museum that were not that skinny.

      The issue isn’t that this is an insult to people who are larger than that. The issue is that these proportions are so extreme as to be nearly physically impossible for the majority of humans on this planet to ever obtain. Being that emaciated is not a healthy condition. It is not a justifiable goal. It is not representative of the company’s majority clientele. It’s like something out of a shock horror film or a tabloid magazine. It’s like a company trying to market clothing based on an aesthetic standard that resembles Bat Boy. It isn’t real, it isn’t obtainable, and it makes no sense from ANY angle.

      1. I guess you don’t know any children, teens, or Asians.

        A mannequin does not look emaciated unless its bones are depicted through the skin. That mannequin simply represents a small person. For example, a woman I interviewed/hired is about that size/build. Her husband is the same — I just met him this week. They are Indian, not that it really has to matter.

        You are making pretty broad assumptions about healthy weight for adults to claim that mannequin could only represent ill health. While I am not a fan of the mass media that has constantly insulted people of healthy weights, this is not an example of that insult.

        Why don’t you go stake out a Gap store and watch who buys those clothes instead of passing judgement without data.

        1.  I do know children, teens, and Asians. None of them look like that.

          I do, in fact, leave my house, go shopping, and see real live humans from all over the world. Again. I have NEVER seen one who looks like that photo. If you’d care to provide some photos to demonstrate that that kind of near-skeletal figure is typical of a healthy adult in any culture, I’d be interested to see that and consider myself enlightened. but until I see that proof, I absolutely cannot believe that this body type is typical or ideally healthy for any human in any culture.

          AND… the culture arguments don’t even have that much meaning overall, because this photo is of a mannequin in a store in LONDON. That is not a typical body type for English people. Neither the people nor the other clothing in the background of that photo match that body type. This is not some kind of inclusive representation of a normal person in this time or place. It’s a gimmicky advertising ploy that comes off as yet another very, very creepy addition to the ever-growing list of ways in which the media is warping fashion and photoshopping superstars in order to give people unrealistic expectations about their bodies.

          I don’t deny that there are healthy adults who are that size. But they are a minuscule minority in the population in which this store is located. Do they deserve to be represented and marketed to? Yes. Does it make sense from a business standpoint to do so? No. It is absolutely true that being TOO skinny due to genetic predisposition or medical reasons can be just as alienating and challenging as being too fat, or too short, or too tall, or the wrong rce or religion or culture to be able to easily find appropriate attire at just any old store. However, as “freak” qualities go, being too skinny does not rank very high on the scale of heavy crosses to bear. It’s an inconvenience. Everyone in the world has some inconvenience like that. Everyone in the world i too skinny or too fat or has too large a nose or asymmetrical ears or excessive hair growth or thin lips or blah blah blah get over it. More people are likely going to feel uncomfortable and alienated by a mannequin like that than there will ever be people who are made to feel more included by its existence.

      2.       The mannequin looks silly but that is the store’s business. I just don’t see how anyone is harmed by a skinny mannequin. Is the assumption that there are millions of people out there beating their brains out on the eliptical machine for ten hours a day trying to achieve skinny mannequin legs?

      3. Now you’re just being ridiculous. I mean, it’s odd enough that corpses were visiting the Holocaust museum, but it’s bizarre that they’d be posing for pictures.

    2. Believe it or not, EVEN MORE adults come in a size that exceeds the largest size offered at those shitty mall chain stores, but practically NO ONE is selling clothes that fit them. 

      In other words, why are there almost always at least 2 stores in your average mall that sell big women’s clothes, but absolutely no stores for bigger men? And no, that token oversized sports insignia crap that sits at the back of one of the 10 Footlocker stores doesn’t count. 


      1. I have every sympathy for people whose genetics put them into the “plus” sizes.  There isn’t a lot they can do about it, and they don’t get a lot of goods and services catered to their particular needs.  Your hashtag implies you’re not in that group.

        What it implies, in fact, is that you’re too lazy or ignorant to realise that taking 10 minutes in the morning to pack a healthy brown-bag lunch (instead of eating prepackaged or fast food), and 20 minutes in the evening to take a damn walk around the block (instead of watching both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!) would have a significant impact on your health and weight.

        30 minutes, not six hours.

        Gosh, it feels like this may have come up somewhere recently…

  7. Since when is “skinny” a good thing?  Thin is fine, skinny == bony and unattractive.  Skinny is beyond thin to unhealthy.

    1. Since when is “skinny” a good thing? Thin is fine, skinny == bony and unattractive. Skinny is beyond thin to unhealthy.

      How about we agree that people get to have whatever body their habits and health grant them, but that it’s a bit odd to have mannequins that represent 1% of 1% of the population?

  8. I see a bold revival of El Greco’s Mannerism in this work of art Boing Boing would have us condemn. Her elongated form expresses a yearning for spiritual freedom, subconsciously appealing to joyous fantasies of life on low gravity worlds. She stands with grace and confidence, inviting viewers to momentarily break free from their own dismal, declining lives. She is freedom itself, unbound by the seemingly inescapable stresses and difficulties imposed by a culture endlessly cracking down on individuality. Those that admonish (and implicitly seek to censor) such art only succeed in spreading her marketing message; Their narrow minds revealing themselves as the enemies of free expression.

    Art is not meant to be trapped in literalism. Venus figurines, cave paintings, and Giocometti sculptures attest to that. This mannequin is an abstraction of the human form and it is possible for viewers to appreciate her without hating themselves and developing eating disorders. To conclude otherwise is to surrender individual power to image makers and abandon mental playfulness in favor of alarm.

  9. I don’t shop there – the mannequins and ALWAYS SKINNY brand is visible from the street entrance, as it has pride of place right in front of the main door. It’s the GAP on Oxford St, which is London’s central shopping district, if there is such a thing.

    Mike: if your wife is that size, she needs help. I mean that sincerely.

  10. Unless the photographer was standing on public property when she took the photo, the store is entitled to prohibit photography. They may not be tactful about it, but then, welcome to Earth.

  11. So, do they make those pants just to fit the mannequin or do they actually sell that size in the store?

  12. Asian women are naturally small so that point is way off beam and children grow up and fatten out so again, a pointless argument. This is being presented as a norm to western women and however you label it, it isn’t healthy.

    1. This is being presented as a norm to western women

      No. This is marketed to “petite” and naturally slim women who are _outside_ the norm. That’s the whole point. This line isn’t called “Always Normal.”

      If you take a look at The Gap’s website you’ll find photos of real women with legs that thin who don’t look unhealthy. The perspective isn’t very good in the photo which may make it look a bit strange.

      As a thin (but not unhealthily so) man who has a really hard time getting clothes that fit, I say bravo for thinking of us thin people. We’re humans too, you know.

      Also, the “death camp” comment is totally unwarranted. It’s probably due to my family history, but I don’t respond well to frivolous use of terms like that for shock (= click bait in this case) or entertainment purposes. I don’t think I’m alone.

  13. A friend of mine who is losing weight has noticed that she’s getting lots of comments from friends and family about “making sure she doesn’t get too thin.” She says that it’s funny that for people who are skinny, it seems that it’s socially acceptable to talk to them directly about their size, shape, and weight, especially in the “you need to eat” sense.

    Yet she says she never had anyone tell her that she was getting too fat, or that she should stop eating junk food when she was much larger. None of her friends said “you look pretty bad, you need to eat less.” Given the fact that there are significant health problems associated with being overweight, and the only negative health effects of being thin are associated with disease (including anorexia among the list), it’s ironic that people feel compelled more to comment about someone’s weight when they’re thin, rather than when they’re fat.

    1. I think that people value thinness so much that, often, telling someone that they’re getting too thin is a veiled compliment. I lost a lot of weight in college, and my family regularly told me I needed to fatten up or “eat a hamburger,” but they also said it in a wry way: they were ok with me being thin.

      It seems that if you’re getting too skinny, you’ve already accomplished the goal of being thin (read: attractive), and you can stop (but just stop–heaven forbid you gain weight!). But if you’re getting fat, there’s no way people can tell you without it being considered an insult.

  14. It seems weird to ban photography, especially in a clothing store like this.  What if Cory’s wife was taking a photo because she liked an outfit and wanted to text Cory/her friend/her mother for their opinion?  Or it’s something she though somebody she knew would like it?

    1. You’re probably just thinking that because it’s weird to ban photography in public places (you know, like the street).  Capturing light rays in a magic box just isn’t safe!

  15. Photography is disallowed in stores because they assume that you;re the competition, scoping them out.  I learned about that many years ago when taking a photo of a store display because I liked its aesthetics, then getting chewed out by the sales staff.

    But someone should buy that mannequin a bagel.

  16. Just look at the space between the legs–that’s not normal.  I understand some people are incredibly thin, but these are not natural proportions of a human. 

  17. Worked for Gap for a short while, and I could say to you that the Always Skinny product line was intended for skinny people… HOWEVER, that mannequin definitely needs to eat more…. it’s not Gap that has the problem here, it’s just that that mannequin, is TOO SKINNY for the intended target audience and for the intended use, let’s just say that mannequin was an exaggeration. Too much of which it now looks so horrible and painful to look at. They should have use the much “healthier” mannequins for the Always Skinny jeans, not this wretched starving mannequin… which in fact should be used when you are intending to display jeans where the actual legs could not bee seen or in this “molded”

    The person in charge of the displays needs to be replaced.

    1. I was thinking the same thing – these are probably mannequin legs intended for display of normal (not skin-tight) pants – so you wouldn’t see how thin the legs are normally, and it would be easy for the clerks to get the pants on and off. There’s a little bit of shape to it, but it doesn’t need a whole realistically sized leg for normal pants to look right.

  18. I don’t want to insult anyone, but I have serious doubts about any one possibly being that small at that height. Unless they are much shorter, someone as tall as that mannequin could not be THAT small around. Look at the size of the knee compared to the hand. I’ve been down to 98lbs at 5’7″ (health problems) and even at my thinnest combined with my small frame, that extreme smallness of this mannequin is just not possible at that height. I don’t know the height exactly, but by looking at the proportions of the figure you can tell it’s impossible. I’m going by my figure drawing training to guess-timate the proportions.

    People have said I’m too thin, but I’ve heard lots of times peope say to others that they are getting too fat. Actually, the most body snarking I hear comes from young women saying that they  themselves are too fat when they are perfectly in good shape, just not crazy thin. Which is why I would see a problem with this mannequin.

  19. ‘I just don’t see how anyone is harmed by a skinny mannequin.’
    It plays to the perception that this is normal/healthy in the minds of those likely to have body issues. It might be argued that this figure is a knowing distortion for the sake of emphasis on the clothing but teenagers in particular are not likely to understand that.

  20. I was that skinny once. I thought nothing of it. I ate everything in sight, and still was boney. Then the other symptoms began to show. Turns out I had Graves Disease. Now I look normal, and healthy. 

  21. Huh. I guess I’ll say I don’t get the problem here. I’m pretty sensitive about my body image, but this mannequin is a mannequin. Mannequins tend not to have heads, have impossible to regularly unattainable proportions (i.e. bust to waist ratio), and are stark white.

    In terms of utility to me as a customer, I think of them as one step above a hanger — they give me a slightly better idea about how a garment is cut or hangs, but the one way to really tell is try it on.

    About 20 pounds ago, people would frequently tell me I was too thin and needed to “eat a donut.” I hated it. I didn’t care if they thought it was a compliment; I thought it reinforced this weird accepted norm to make unsolicited comments on women’s bodies. It’s an uncomfortable reminder of men who think it’s OK to catcall a strange woman on the street; compliment, amirite? 

    It also made me uncomfortable that these compliments were couched in a context of jealousy or judgement; I don’t want to be a person whose very existence makes other people feel bad. I like to have some say on when and who I make feel bad, thanks.

    It also made feel self-conscious about when I wasn’t too thin … did a lack of remarks meant I was finally not thin? Fat? Silent judgment Paranoia!

    These experiences mean that I make it a general policy not to make unsolicited comments on a person’s size, unless it’s health-based, and only compliments (you look healthy, you look happy, etc.). Mostly, I like to compliment people’s choices (clothes, hair, etc.) because I think these things reflect their tastes, which is more important than genetics or a lifestyle they have more trouble controlling.

    And I don’t share stories about how somebody might think I’m fat or I think I’m fat, so I can fish for compliments and make bigger women around me feel worse. Well, except to the boyfriend, but that’s his lot in life, unfortunately.

  22. A multinational corporation is not your friend. However, through decades of R&D into techniques to manipulate human desires, corporations that sell products to consumers have learned how to engender warm, fuzzy feelings in them. Then, whenever there’s some evidence that a corporation doesn’t actually care about your feelings, we’re shocked–shocked! Don’t be. You are a cash cow, nothing more. They’ll do what makes money. If it doesn’t make money, they won’t do it. Simple as that. Advertising imagery obviously conflicts with reality. The resulting cognitive dissonance is part of the manipulation. We literally buy in to the subliminal, or not so subliminal, messages. Your brain tells you, if I shop there, I won’t be so frumpy. But you don’t hear it. You just feel it. I don’t know why, but I just have to pop into this shop to see what they have. Oh, look! That shirt is just me! Here’s my credit card.

    The clerk doesn’t really care if you have a nice day or not. It’s all theater.

    1. I’m studying to be a fashion designer, and pretty much everything you’ve said is on par with most of our marketing classes. The industry would prefer that I learn how to treat people like numbers, and we have essentially convinced you all that you need to replace your clothes every season even if they still fit just fine.
      Make no mistake of it, you are viewed as sheep and number, not human beings.

  23. What I find more amusing are the pictures representing the jean styles.  Here in the states each styles typically has a silhouette picture that goes with it.  The irony is all the pictures look pretty much the same.  It doesn’t matter if you are wearing the curvy pair or the skinny pair, the pictures still look like a size 0 model….

    At least Old Navy gets it right.  The curvy pair picture at least has some good curves.

  24. I find the comments about the mannequin needing to eat more completely ridiculous.  It is a mannequin, folks!  Not a person!  It isn’t capable of eating!

    And there isn’t any evidence that this type of thing encourages women to diet or exercise excessively.  Just look at the US!  Women here are bombarded with skinny models in ads and magazines and stores full of size 0 mannequins, and they keep gobbling down chocolate, ice cream, burgers, pizza and putting on weight like never before. 
    It would be more logical, from the evidence, to claim skinny models and mannequins cause women to get fat.

    1. Did you ever stop and think that a lot of the women are simply too busy trying earn a living to have the time to work out or cook or possibly too poor to afford healthy food? How many women have you seen who have gained weight by simply scarfing down a ton of junk food for the pleasure of it?

    2. Incorrect. Learn to think before speaking, and learn to gather evidence before stating things as truth. Anorexia and bulimia are spiraling out of control in the United States, not just Obesity. (Center for Disease Control).

      “It would be more logical, from the evidence, to claim skinny models and mannequins cause women to get fat.”
      It would be more logical, from the evidence, to claim that you are incapable of proper logical thought structure.

  25. i didn’t even finish reading all of the comments on here.  many shops have policies about not taking photos while you’re in there.  ‘always skinny’ would be referring to the skinny pant leg, as i’m sure they come in sizes other than heroin chic.  if people idolize these headless mannequins, their problems lie deeper than GAPs marketing campaign.  People need to stop complaining just to hear themselves talk.  If it was a fat mannequin, people would complain they’re promoting an unhealthy lifestyle

  26. as someone who is generally too thin to find women’s pants that fit — yes, even at the gap — i am most definitely NOT getting a kick out of most of these comments.

    5’9″, 114 lbs.  deal with it.  my mother weighed even less when she married my father.  my brother works out like a madman because of his insecurities about his thinness.  it’s NATURAL for some people.  not the majority, certainly, but some.

    “anorexic,” “ethiopian,” “death camp victim,” it’s all pretty insulting — as is the whole “real women have curves” marketing movement, which implies that those of us who do not possess enough body fat to have secondary sex characteristics of a certain size do not qualify as female, or even human.  the idea that people seem to feel free to make public commentary on thin peoples’ bodies has already been touched upon; that stinks, too.

    besides, i don’t see any criticism over the oversized mannequins at plus stores.

    1. >besides, i don’t see any criticism over the oversized mannequins at plus stores.

      Because the fashion industry does not have a long history of discriminating against thin people and purveying unhealthily heavy body images to girls and teens. If they did, then people might complain about large size mannequins.

      But they don’t. The opposite is true. The fact that some people are healthily thin does not suddenly erase all the harm that fashion advertising has done to women. It may not have harmed you, but it has harmed many.

      If “real women have curves” is not inclusive enough for you, then you’re being oblivious to the historical exclusion of plus-size women (historical being narrowly defined as the last few decades). The point of those statements is that women with curves can finally hear that they are are *also* real women, along with the average and thin women *who have always been considered real women* by the modern fashion/advertising industries.

      1. “If ‘real women have curves’ is not inclusive enough for you, then
        you’re being oblivious to the historical exclusion of plus-size women
        (historical being narrowly defined as the last few decades).”

        I heartily object to this statement. I think your reading is very fair, but I think the other reading is not necessarily indicative of obliviousness. I think it’s quite possible to disagree with “real women have curves” just because it’s simplistic and sloppy wording. 

        Average and thin women are not considered “real” by modern fashion and advertising industries — they’re considered “ideal.”

        I feel it’s fair to say that the fashion and ad industries are quite aware what “real” women look like (answer: all kinds of things) but they’re trying to sell *one ideal* partly because it’s more cost-effective and partly because it’s a great way to get people to buy out of fear.

        To pick out “curves” as the way to describe or define a woman is another half-baked way to assuade women’s body insecurities. We talk a lot about fat and thin when discussing body image, but there is less concern talking about society’s ideas about what makes a woman — basically, in opposition to a man. Basically, a woman should have breasts and hips, and we’re particular about how big or significant those breasts and hips are.

        (Side note: When I cut my hair, I was deeply surprised how *strongly* people (hetero
        men, particularly, but women as well) felt about women having long
        hair. It wasn’t just “I like long hair” but “I wouldn’t date a short-haired
        woman”, “I think they’re ugly,” “I think they don’t look like women”,
        etc. It’s a haircut, get over it.)

        There is general awareness about how women can be made insecure about breast size, I hope. This is particularly a problem for thin women, since less body fat generally means smaller breasts, but it’s an issue faced by all women. I know some plus-sized ladies who don’t like that clothing stores assume that because they’re big elsewhere, they have big chests too.

        There seems to be a feeling that thin women are universally lauded, but thin women with “no” chests or hips are often considered with similar repulsion. I’ve come across a significant number of comments remarking that “I like a little meat on the bones” or “I don’t want to sleep with a man.”

        Also, how can a woman have “no” hips or breasts? If she has a torso, she has breasts! If she has legs, she has hips!

        So I don’t think “real women have curves” addresses this image perpetuated by society. It’s also the image perpetuated in magazines (e.g. like Maxim) or lingerie ads. These women *have* curves — they’ve got ample chests, pert butts, streamlined but not bony thighs. They just also happen to have flat abs of steel and near-perfect tone. They’re still not the average woman.

        Suffice to say, I just don’t care for what anyone has to say when it comes to what anyone “should” look like, or what a “real” anything is. If you exist, you’re real. You may not be the ideal, but ideals aren’t real anyway.

  27. If you think that’s a natural look even for the scrawniest of cultures, then you are deeply confused about how much fat is good and how much is not. Just because cultures can be that small doesn’t mean they should be. Just like how body builders that compete have too little fat for good health, but are accepted as healthy because they are in shape.

  28. I am reminded of a 2005 article about a more, ah, corpulent mannequin.

    Quote: “When asked if he thought they might use a J.Lo, with its 39-inch
    posterior, Andrew Corson, the men’s merchant at a Gap in downtown D.C.,
    says, ‘Oh my! I don’t think our clothes would fit that.'”

    Here’s where you can find one for yourself.

    Mannequins! Creepy!

  29. The big shirt is to hide the kwashiorkor. {rimshot}

    Seriously folks, we all have some food issues on this planet, no? Life is short and difficult. How about we practice a little compassion for all of us, starting with ourselves? Avoid the scale today, whether you’re fat or skinny, and send a prayer to Africa. Or go to Heiffer International and buy a cow, instead of having one.

  30. Hey everyone!
    I’m Currently am employee at The GAP! In addition to working at GAP I am also a HEALTHY 90 pound woman, so I have quite a bit to say.

    The “Always Skinny” line is intended for thin people. GAP doesn’t imply this as average size.
    Every girl I have personally seen purchase one of these items doesnt look sick, emaciated or remotely unhealthy. Adult Petit women (including myself) who shop at GAP often have to meander on over to the Kids section to find pants and outerwear that fit properly. Although I am normally a size 00/24 everywhere else, the jeans are generally designed to run a bit big. I for one am very thankful that this line has given me a chance to shop alongside other women of my age.

    As a long time reader, I must express my EXTREME disappointment in this blog post.
    Not only is this topic not up to par with BoingBoing norms, I also found it to be tasteless.
    Imagine (you are overweight) and come across a post on a favorite blog of yours mocking a mannequin shaped much like yourself filled with quotes like”cholesterol chic” “fat-pride” and “flabby fashion forward”? You continue on to read comments on how revolting your form is, or how inappropriate it is that fashion would even cater to people of your size..
    Never in a million years would that situation happen!  But a very similar one just did.

    Discrimination against the thin is a real thing. In some ways, I imagine it to just as bad as the discrimination overweight people face. Both thin and overweight women have difficulty shopping as well as face criticism the media.I’d give anything to be a larger size but this is who I am. It saddens me to think that so many readers are ignorant to the fact that plenty of women are thin enough to need specially designed clothes..
    So here is a sarcastic Thank You to Corey Doctorow for continuing to fuel discrimination many feel. As a prominent writer on this blog, I suggest you use a little more discretion in choosing your post topics..Conversations you have with your wife ( who most likely shares your similar views) might not always be suitable for such a large and different audience. You are in a position to make great statements that many eyes will see! I’d like to see less posts aimed towards ridicule of a perfectly healthy figure, and more about.. Well, anything else.

    1. Imagine (you are overweight) and come across a post on a favorite blog of yours mocking a mannequin shaped much like yourself filled with quotes like”cholesterol chic” “fat-pride” and “flabby fashion forward”? You continue on to read comments on how revolting your form is, or how inappropriate it is that fashion would even cater to people of your size.. Never in a million years would that situation happen!?

      Have you been online? Like, ever? Or have you ever left the house, beyond going to work at the Gap? I’m fully sympathetic to thin folks who get abuse for their figures, but it is appallingly disingenuous for you to suggest that fat people (or even people whose bodies deviate even slightly from the beauty standard’s norm) “never in a million years” would experience such vitriol, online or in the real world.  It happens every day! Why do you think the diet industry exists? Why is it that fat people so often want to lose weight, regardless of their health?

      Please, you can defend people of all shapes and sizes (from the very thin to the hugely fat, as we all deserve) without resorting to straw fat people and bizarre claims that fat folks are never subjected to harassment or abuse for the way they look.

      I strongly urge you to educate yourself and think about your own assumptions.

    2. Aesthetic discrimination against healthy ectomorphs is certainly unjustified. But while the original post was certainly snarky and disrespectful toward the GAP corporation, it didn’t discriminate against or say anything bad about individuals with low BMI. It observed that the mannequin (and underlying marketing) purveyed an unhealthy weight and body image.

      The assumption that skinny = unhealthy might be unwarranted or insulting in a vacuum, but this post and this subject do not exist in a vacuum. The elephant in your showroom that you are sidestepping, whether
      blithely or intentionally, is that, while people of all sizes are discriminated against in various ways, the fashion and clothing industries have a long history of specifically discriminating against heavy people and propagating harmful body-images to woman
      and girls.

      Given that history, pointing out what appears to be another example in an established pattern of negative behavior is legitimate. Whether you agree with his implications or not, they are in no way “continuing to fuel discrimination.”

      1. “… the fashion and clothing industries have a long history of specifically
        discriminating against heavy people and propagating harmful body-images
        to woman
        and girls.”

        pffffffffffffffft, whatever.  yes, models are thin generally, but that’s runway — those usually aren’t the same clothes that make it into the stores; they are more exaggerated, stylized versions — they’re art pieces, really, and representative of a designer’s style and artistic direction for a given season.  and those sizes certainly don’t make it into the store.  as for print advertisements et cetera, those girls are still bigger than, say, i am or ever forsee being.  it’s just an ad.  a fantasy.  i don’t look at a victoria’s secret and and go running to get a set of boob and butt implants; i’m not gonna sit here and scream discrimination over it, because just like with the rest of the fashion industry they are selling an *image* that they hope you’ll find enjoyable and associate with their clothes when you see them in the stores.

        and speaking of what’s in the store, size-wise there’s no comparison between what’s available in large versus small styles.  hell, larger sizes aren’t just in the regular stores — they get their own stores, too.  what smaller sizes there are either don’t exist in the first place, are in the kids’ department (which doesn’t work out so well for you if you’re tall), are made for petites (so you’re still screwed if you’re tall), or are ordered in such small quantities that you’re competing with the hotsy-totsy-teenagers to get ’em.

        all in all, don’t whine about discrimination just because you don’t see a lot of bigger girls on the runway or in advertisements.  they still have far more than enough clothing to choose from. 

        p.s.  those aren’t pants in the pic, those are tights/leggings.  they stretch.  they don’t *really* make fitted pants that small, trust me.

        1. Actually we do.
          Don’t try to talk about the fashion industry like you know what your talking about.
          It absolutely is about selling an image. And part of that image is making people feel inadequate about yourself.

          Back when I took fashion marketing, on our first day we learned the golden rule. 
          The most effective way to make people purchase our clothes is to make them feel insecure about themselves.

          Don’t fool yourself. The entire point of the fashion industry is to make you feel insecure about yourself. Thats why you buy our clothes, to make yourself feel better.

          1. “Thats why you buy our clothes, to make yourself feel better.”

            oh — and here’s me thing it was because it’s inappropriate to go naked in public, i enjoy certain styles and fabrics, and my job had a dress code i must comply to.

            and what part of “they are selling an *image*” did you not catch from my post?

  31. Who says a mannequin has to be realistic? Fashion is not about realism. Obviously the form doesn’t represent your average shopper – so what? Seems the only reason people are getting bent about this is to pile on about skinniness. Wake me up when you have something to say about the behaviors leading to our current obesity epidemic.

  32. I wouldn’t say that I’m as small as the mannequin pictured, but I can say I HAVE to shop at The Gap and Old Navy because they are the only stores I can get jeans small enough to fit. Some of us are naturally petite and can’t wear regular clothes and do not want to be subjected to buying and wearing children’s clothes. Aren’t there better things to fret over than an inanimate object? If you don’t like it, go to Lane Bryant.

  33. EEEKKKKK! looks like a feminine styled pale manchester with rickety legs and hands …..all because of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency……………..can’t stand a good hug  even! forget other things!!!!!!!!!!!!! FEED HER and  plz plz DONT VISUAL STARVE US!!

  34. wow…the first thing i thought of is it saves on plastic, just like the plastic spoons with the holes in the handle. anyone with body issues is going to have to deal with their issues, that’s the bottom line. everything outside of us we have no control over. it’s all in how we deal with it within.  

  35. I’ve seen green mannequins, hot pink mannequins, and headless mannequins. I wonder what the message is there? *rolls eyes*

    mannequin is a wooden, sometimes plastic, figure to display clothes.
    It’s not a representation of how a person “should” look. I’m more
    concerned about self-conscious people pointing the finger and assuming
    that a mannequin in a clothing store is “supposed” to be than I am about
    a plastic dummy. And this is coming from a former anorexic. I’ve never
    looked at a mannequin, a model, or a cartoon character and thought “If I
    starve myself, I’ll look like that”. Eating disorders tend to be much
    deeper than visual influence.

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