By Kristina Saliba, Staff Writer

Too big or too small? The Swedish mannequins are not the first to stir up controversy over size/ PHOTO BY Flickr user Maneul W.

A flood of reactions has recently surfaced due to rather curvy mannequins being displayed in a Swedish store called Åhléns, the Huffington Post reports. A photo of these uncharacteristically heavier mannequins, sporting lingerie, went viral on a Facebook group called Women’s Rights News. The caption under the photo reads, “Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these.”

There were some agreements with this statement, and of course, some disagreements. The many people who embraced the realistic quality of the mannequins commented similarly to a Facebook user who wrote in a comment on the photo, “Gorgeous and feminine” and another who commented, “Yes, now this is the normal body – show the world, change it.” Of course there were negative comments that were not so enthusiastic,  like “Skinny women are real women too” and that the mannequins were “Just another excuse to be fat.”

We’ve all heard about the studies that have recently explored the effects that media has on how people perceive their bodies. Ever since we were little, we’ve been exposed to completely unrealistic expectations of how a person should look like, from Barbie’s tiny waste to the airbrushed models on magazine covers. I think it’s great that a store took the conscious effort not to advertise “skinny” as much as most stores do. According to a 2011 article by the Washington Post, a few years ago, clothing store G.A.P came under scrutiny because of how skinny their own mannequins were.

Perhaps the heavier mannequins are a response to the recurring issue of emaciated models (real and otherwise) in the fashion world. Either way, I think it is most certainly a breath of fresh air to see an attempt at showing a different side of things.

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