You already know that many starlets grace (is grace really the word I’m looking for here?) magazine covers half undressed but do you remember hearing about Carey Mulligan wearing a towel around her bottom on the cover of October 2011 issue of Vogue? No it’s not the latest terry-cloth fashion hot off the runway –- as if! — poor Carey was actually the victim of an ill-fitting haute couture dress. As she explains:

“The cover dress was very pretty but wouldn’t go over my arse. Sample size is very, very tiny. I’m actually wearing a towel around my waist and the bottom is clipped up because I couldn’t fit.”

While Carey seems to be taking it all remarkably well — further on in the interview she talks about feeling free from the thin pressure that crushes many other actresses her age — but that had to have been at least a little unnerving. You’re on the cover of Vogue and you have a priceless dress on your top and a towel on your bottom. What do you say when a Vogue stylist hands you a dress and you can’t get it over your hips? And then how do you work a towel into that conversation?? But what really irritates me is that they made her do the cover shoot anyhow, even in such a state.

Instead of finding a dress to flatter the already gorgeous actress, they forced the actress into an unflattering dress. All to sell more “aspirational fashion” to women who probably can’t fit in it either.

Store mannequins are basically the photoshop of the physical world — you’ve seen the ones standing (shirtless) sentry at Abercrombie and Fitch, right? — so I don’t really expect much. After all, they don’t even have heads! Or hands! Or even a spot to house pretend internal organs!

And then there’s Lane Bryant using a size 8 mannequin to model size 16 + clothing (with more outrageous pinning, I’m sure). But in a world where tiny Carey Mulligan can’t fit in the couture dress they forced her to wear on the cover of the magazine anyhow, do we really need mannequins adding to the lies and deception?

What do you think of Carey’s confession? Brave or embarrassing? How do you feel about mannequins so small they can’t even model the smallest size of clothing in the store? Anyone else feel compelled to manhandle the mannequins?

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