It began in Malmö, Sweden 2010
In October 2010 Swedish project manager and blogger Rebecka Silvekroon took a photo of a “fuller-figured” mannequin at a Swedish department store and posted it on her blog Becka.nu. It was posted along with a positive note of how “real” and healthy it looked. Nothing much happened at that point. But in the middle of March 2013 it started to spread in social media. And it spread fast! After just a couple of days the photo had been liked more than 1 million times in total on Facebook!
How did it happen?
Well, on Tuesday 12th of March, the Facebook Group Women’s Rights News posted the photo on their Facebook wall. The image on their wall has been liked 80 000 times. Also on 12th of March it was posted by French Facebook page BIBA with yet another 80 000 likes. A few days later, on Friday 15th, it really exploded when the Canadian radio channel The New HOT 105.5 posted the photo, and it has at the time of writing been liked more than 730 000 times, and shared by over 85 000. On Saturday the 16th it was also shared by Bundles and Buzz with another 367 000 likes. By now, it’s been shared by several other pages and people on Facebook, and the total amount of likes has gone over 1 million!
The origin of the mannequin was at first a mystery
When the photo first became viral in social media, newspapers wrote that the mannequin was from H&M. Which was not true, it came from the Swedish department store Åhléns. The misconception around the image might be due to the fact that H&M was mentioned (and actually criticized) in the blog post. Most likely a non-Swedish speaking visitor found the photo and just read “H&M”. It is still uncertain how and who took the image from the original blog post and then posted it on Facebook. Do you know? Please send an email!
Getting the story straight
H&M was contacted by media, and they said it wasn’t their mannequin and didn’t know where it came from. That made newspapers such as The Washington Post and others write that it was in fact “a hoax”. Of course this was not a hoax, the mannequins have actually been in use for years. Now, after Rebecka emailed several newspapers and tried to reach out on Twitter, most news papers are updating their information to say where they mannequins are actually from.
In the news all over the world
The photo has received attention and been featured in articles all over the world. In the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Poland, of course Sweden.. and even all the way down under to Australia. Read more about the media coverage here.
Why is this important?
Because we need to change the way most super skinny mannequins look! Walk in to any fashion store around the world and you will see mannequins with a tiny waist and flat stomach. That is not how normal people look! Let us try to change the way retailers think when they are about to purchase new mannequins. And let’s try to change the way mannequins are produced by manufacturers. Simply put, let us try to change the world of fashion, one small image at a time!