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These unrealistic body images are unhealthy and destructive; Sue Lee the echo's print editor tells it like it is MY SHOUT.

Byline: Sue Lee

I LOVE shopping but, lord, it seems to get tougher by the month.

First, there's the enormous disparity in dress sizes between shops (hurrah for Marksies for those generous size 10s, boo to Top Shop for those can't-get-my-leg-in size 14 jeans).

Then there's the where's-all-the-stuff-gonefor-people-my-age problem. Honestly, it's as if the moment a woman turns 45 they become invisible to fashion, caught between a muttondressed-as-lamb option and a look best described as "something in beige with an elasticated waist".

Now comes a new report which says the bodies of female shop mannequins are "unrealistic".

The study, in the Journal of Eating Disorders, says that if actual humans were the same size they would be "medically unhealthy".

"There is clear evidence showing that the ultra-thin ideal is contributing to the development of mental health problems and eating disorders," says author Dr Eric Robinson.

This is a whole different ball game. It's one thing struggling to find age appropriate clothes when you're 40-plus. It's quite another being 17 and sold "size super-skinny" as the fashion ideal. That is dangerous and destructive.

The sad thing is that we've been saying the same thing for years and years about how women are portrayed on catwalks and in magazines and on shop floors. Nothing has altered.

Mannequins remain waif-like. Women remain at best dismayed and at worst despairing at the subliminal message that we should all look alike - slim with a minute waist and a thigh gap you could drive a truck through.

The fashion industry and retail sector have to change. Women must bring pressure to bear on the fashion industry and the retail sector.

This is 2017. This is not ok.

I'M sorry to see Prince Phillip retire. He's kept the nation's headline writers in business for decades with his unscripted comments.

Some say he is simply a no-nonsense kind of bloke who calls a spade a shovel.

I'd just call him rude. And don't tell me how wonderful he is for supporting the Queen all these years - he's simply doing what plenty of partners of both sexes achieve on a daily basis.

I hope he enjoys the rest. We certainly will.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 6, 2017
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