The Web went bonkers Thursday after pictures of fuller-figured Swedish H&M mannequins were posted online -- both criticizing and praising the unusual plastic statues.
The curvy figures are draped in skimpy lingerie and display softer stomachs, thicker legs and, in general, more realistic proportions than the usual. Department store mannequins are typically a size 4 or 6, Yahoo reported, but the average American woman is a size 14 -- a bit of a difference indeed.
The Facebook page "Women's Rights News" posted a picture of the mannequin to Facebook and generated a tremendous response from social media users.
"It's about time reality hit ... " one of nearly 2,500 commenters said. "Anybody saying these mannequins encourage obesity or look unhealthy ... [has] a seriously warped perception of what is healthy," another shared. "I guarantee the ‘bigger’ mannequin in the front there represents a perfect BMI."
The photo has garnered almost 50,000 "likes" and had been shared almost 15,000 times by the end of Thursday.
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One Facebook comment addressed how sexy icon Marilyn Monroe’s curvy proportions helped her become a legend:
“About dang time somebody is getting it right I am so sick of stores thinking if you arent a size 2 that you arent beautiful I love it. Marilyn Monroe one of the most beautiful woman who ever lived wasnt a size 2. Way to go H&M !!!!!! Come on and bring it to America.”
Mannequins have been criticized by many for their petite frames. In 2007, a British health official demanded that high-fashion London stores ditch the stick-thin figurines for mannequins that represented a wide range of shapes and sizes, Yahoo reported.
But some people have reacted to fuller plastic models with contempt and even disgust in some cases.
Toward the end of 2012, a Reddit user posted a picture of a doll that reflected real-life proportions as a gag, referring to it as an “obese mannequin.”
Some fellow “Redditors” wrote things like:
"Ew, fat people", "It's embarrassing how obese America is" and the even "He's not fat, just big foamed."