Mannequins mirroring average-size shoppers sparks big debate

Ahlens City Department Store is using mannequins which are a size 6 and 10, instead of opting for the usual size 0.

A department store in Sweden is getting world-wide feedback on some mannequins added to the sales floors.

Ahlens City Department Store is using mannequins which are a size 6 and 10, instead of opting for the usual size 0.

A 29-year-old from Malmö, Sweden took the photo which has now gone viral. She posted it on her blog in Oct. 2010 noting that it was a positive sign of what 'real' and 'healthy' look like.

"I'm so happy I took this photo - I love that it has gone viral and spread across the entire world. The comments I read on Facebook are all very positive, and it's great to see how many people like and share this. There are now articles covering the story everywhere, in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Australia and many more. Hopefully it will inspire other companies to re-think their choice in mannequins. Let us keep challenging the unhealthy ideals that exist in the fashion and retail industry and keep the discussion going. I will do what I can to make a difference," wrote Rebecka.

A recent post has now brought renewed interest in the issue and is also sparking a big debate.

The Facebook Group Womenâ??s Rights News posted the photo on its wall March 12. Since the post, the picture has been shared more than 62,000 times.

A newspaper in Malmö, Sweden called Sydsvenskan, spoke with a manager of Ahlens City Department Store.

"We have similar mannequins in all of our stores," said Ann Almqvist, store manager of �hlens City in Malmö. "We are the only chain in Sweden that has them."

Some critics say the mannequins condone obesity, while many others say it's refreshing to see mannequins reflecting real bodies.

UpNorthLive's Facebook fans are weighing in on the debate.

wrote: "T

hey should be size 8 and 12. That would be even more realistic."

left this comment: "

I love this. Not all women are size 0. It helps knowing what clothes will look like on a real sized person. Average sizes for women are more along 8-10 with most being 10-14(which fashion designers deem plus size!) We need to stop thinking that thin is perfection. Most women have curves!!"

wrote: "

My TWELVE year old is a size zero. I wear a 10, and nobody has ever called me "fat." Thin mannequins condone anorexia, which KILLS people. Lets not be dumb."

disagrees, he wrote: "

6 okay. 10 is a bit much."

Would you like to see these mannequins in stores in the United States? Tell us what you think by voting in the poll below and leaving your comments! You can also get in on the conversation by heading to UpNorthLive's Facebook page.