Future fashion designers will no longer be designing clothes for stick insects, but for 'real' women.
Fashion students will now be using mannequins replicating the average size woman in Britain, a size 16-18. The radical change is part of the initiative set up by model Erin O'Connor, Caryn Franklin and Debra Bourne, who have been campaigning hard for two years to eradicate the unhealthy obsession in fashion with the infamous size zero.
The scheme will premier in the Edinburgh College of Art. The key idea is to give the power back to the designers to change the unhealthy way that women are represented and percieved in fashion.
But is portraying them as overweight any better?
I know that a size 16-18 is the average size in Britain, and I definitely agree with banishing the ridiculous idea of size zero. It is not a healthy image to aspire to, young girls are growing up idolising the celebrities who the magazines say look good - the thin ones. Whenever a pop star puts on a few pounds, or an actress is snapped chowing on a burger, all hell breaks loose, and they are metaphorically slaughtered by journalists.
Health guidelines state that a woman's waist should be no bigger than 88cm, and any larger than this puts you in the obese catergory. A size 16 is 84cm, and a size 18 is 89cm, so although this isn't drastically overweight, it still isn't a perfect picture of health.
It is a very individual thing, some women are just born to have larger figures but can still be exercising regularly and eating all the right foods. But I think that putting another restriction on fashion designers isn't the solution to solving self-image issues and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Why not have a range of mannequin sizes, to emphasis the fact that body size and shape is a diverse and undefineable thing? Why does it have to be either a size zero or a size sixteen?
Fashion seems to like putting a restriction on sizing, be it too small or too big. Whether it's promoting a skeletal figure or a voluptous one, it has to be one extreme or the other. Fashion is all about the extremes, the shock factor is vital in today's unshockable society. And that's one convention that isn't about to change any time soon.
P.S Bob's other hamster died last night :( R.I.P Pebble and Dash x