If you're someone who falls outside of the range of standard clothing sizing, it's pretty unlikely that you've strolled into a store at your local mall and found yourself twinning shape-wise with a mannequin. However, as brands recognize the beauty and validity of bodies of all shapes and sizes, this standard is starting to change, and brands like Nike and American Eagle are beginning to feature mid-size and plus size mannequins at their retail locations. If you haven't seen, the tweets about Nike's new plus size mannequins are pretty much overtaking the platform — there's some negativity, of course, but most users are applauding the brand for creating a more inclusive shopping experience. Leggings and sports bras for all, y'all!
As a mid-size woman, I've always been one to see an outfit on a mannequin or model, like the look, and then ask myself "OK, but how will that fit on my body?" I can't help it, it's just part of my shopping process. I've never had the experience of entering a store and seeing someone my size modeling the clothes, so for plus size people who now have the opportunity to experience exactly this at Nike, it's kind of a big deal. Huge, in fact. It's a major step in the right direction, aka the body-positive, more inclusive one.
The new mannequins are visible at the brand's London flagship store, and spoiler alert, they couldn't be more amazing:
The new displays were created in an effort to showcase “a full range of athlete figures,” at Nike stores, according to NikeTown, per InStyle. This includes para-sports mannequins in addition to the new curvy figures. There's no word on if or when the mannequins will make their debut in other Nike stores worldwide, but I've got my fingers crossed to see them IRL very, very soon.
Tons of fans of the brand took to Twitter to express joy and gratitude for the new mannequins:
In a world with such strict beauty and weight norms, something as simple as a curvy mannequin can really make an impact:
And so many Twitter users have pointed out that the new Nike mannequins make them feel seen:
Of course, there's been some backlash, but to most people, the idea of a more inclusive shopping experience seems pretty damn appealing:
Major props to Nike for taking this exciting first step towards body-positivity and inclusivity. Now, they need to continue full steam ahead, in hopes that other brands will follow their lead. As some Twitter users pointed out, there are no plus size male mannequins in any Nike stores, and the retailer's actual womens' plus size collection has under 60 items in total.
We need more plus size pieces and more inclusive mannequins ASAP — thanks in advance, Nike!
And of course, we need more gorgeous ads showcasing and normalizing body diversity, like this one here:
There are a myriad of great brands and retailers out there that cater to a wide range of sizes when it comes to workout gear — Addition Elle, Fabletics, and Torrid are just a few that come to mind right off the bat. Still, there are even more brands that don't, so to see a company as iconic as Nike making change is exciting. Nike set the industry standards, so to see them normalize activewear for all body types is certainly something worth celebrating.