Saturday, January 27, 2007

Shop Mannquin's Gain Weight

Spanish shop window dummies have been ordered to fatten up after the government and big fashion chains agreed that female dummies should wear size 10 clothes or above.

The agreement between Spanish retail chains such as Zara and Mango and the country's health ministry came as the fashion trade agreed to a series of measures designed to combat anorexia.

Stick-thin mannequins will be withdrawn from store windows over the next few years as those capable of wearing clothes bearing labels marked European size 38, equivalent to the British size 10, take their place.

In a further attempt to be more accepting of clients' real sizes, fashion stores also agreed to incorporate European size 46 (British 18) into their normal clothing range. Size 46 clothes are currently not stocked or are banished to the outsize racks by Spanish retailers.

The health minister, Elena Salgado, hailed the agreement as a blow against the ideals of the unattainable, and potentially dangerous, skinniness promoted by some parts of the fashion industry.

"It is not reasonable for a modern and advanced society to establish stereotypes of beauty that are far removed from social reality," she said.

Her ministry plans to measure 8,500 Spanish girls and women between the ages of 12 and 70 to determine the true shape of Spanish women's bodies.

Retailers have also pledged to stop putting clients through the nightmare of having to work out exactly what their size is in each shop they visit. With different retailers deciding for themselves exactly what, for example, a size 38 really is, consumers are confused.

Now retailers are to agree a common sizing policy that will be "truthful, homogenous and comprehensible".

The health ministry's study of real body shapes will help them, while new rules will increase the information available to shoppers so that, for example, dress labels will carry information on waist, hip and bust sizes.

The measures confirm the place of Spanish designers and retailers in the vanguard of those in the global fashion industry prepared to accept that they can influence women's health.

Last year two Spanish fashion shows banned models with a body mass index of below 18, meaning that they had to weigh at least 55kg (8st 9lb) if their height was 1.75 metres (5ft 7in).

Madrid's Pasarela Cibeles show, for example, banned several models for being too thin.

"It is everyone's commitment that beauty and health go hand in hand," Ms Salgado said. It was unclear yesterday whether the common sizing system, which will be Europe's first, would set a trend across the European Union.

British shoppers will, at least, know they can expect to fit in the same size clothes every time they visit Spanish retailers such as Zara, Mango or Bershka - which are increasingly visible on British high streets.

Once the sizing of women's clothes has been sorted out, Spain's socialist government says it will turn its attentions to men's clothes.


Just like Barbie! I wonder if making inanimate objects more healthy really makes a difference.