The owner of a bridal shop in Minehead, Somerset has said she sees passers-by jeering and laughing at a plus-size mannequin in her shop window on a daily basis.
Speaking to ITV News, Debbie Shelley, who runs the Somerset Bridal shop, explained that she spent years looking for a size 32 mannequin she could display her gowns on.
The mannequin, whom she calls Fuchsia, represents everything Ms Shelley and her shop stand for, she explained, which is inclusivity and body diversity when it comes to bridalwear.
“Our little family of mannequins started with a size 12, we got an 18, we got a 20 but then I was always looking for a mannequin that represented all of our brides - mainly the size 26s and above,” she said.
Ms Shelley went on to explain how happy she and her colleagues were to find Fuchsia.
“We were really proud to display Fuschia, we put her in lovely dresses,” she said.
However, the reception from customers and passers-by was not what she had hoped.
“Then as we were doing appointments we were listening to people talking outside and finding that they were laughing, jeering, pointing, making jokes and just saying really rude things to Fuschia,” she said.
“We would have brides in the shop that could hear this going on and it was really upsetting for me that people can mock people because of their size.
“Who are we to judge what’s going on in people’s lives, why they’re the size they are? It’s just not the ethos of our shop.”
Ms Shelley added that the heckling has become a daily occurrence and so she has decided to take action by placing a sign next to Fuchsia in order to call out people’s cruelty and combat the jeering.
The sign reads: “Are you laughing or are you fat-shaming? Fuchsia has feelings and we think she is stunning! Please send her love not laughs!”