"As you are aware, the year is 2015. A time when I like to believe we are conscious of the harsh unrealities often imposed on us by the fashion industry (the Nineties is famous for its skinny runway models)," she wrote beneath the picture, tagging the brand. "Every day I am surrounded by strong women and men who struggle with the daily battle of body image. A subject which is now even covered by schools nationwide, educating the young on the reality of a human body and how unrealistic many photoshopped images are. So let me get to the point, I'd love to hear how you can justify the ridiculously tiny mannequin in your Bristol Cribbs Causeway store? We come in all shapes and sizes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being the size you naturally are. I believe we should all feel comfortable in our own skin. Having said that, this mannequin is quite frankly ridiculously shaped."
Berry continued, writing: "To be honest, I'm sure many clever, strong and beautiful women of any age are made to feel insecure by your mannequins and advertisements. Numerous studies have been carried out on the effect of unrealistic mannequins in stores and numerous stories have been shared in the media too. So what makes you feel you can ignore everything that's been said and considered by other high-street stores and even some high-fashion designers? What makes you so superior Topshop?" before signing off: "P.S Just so you know, after taking this picture I used my size 10/12 legs to walk straight out of your store."
I'd love to hear how you can justify the ridiculously tiny mannequin in your Bristol Cribbs Causeway store?Topshop customer Laura Berry
Having become aware of Berry's open letter, Topshop commented directly on her page, leaving the following statement.
The views of our customers are extremely valuable and we apologise if we have not lived up to the levels of service that we aim to deliverTopshop
"We think it's important to showcase a healthy size image, from the choice of models used in campaigns, to the stories featured online and on the blog. For some background, the mannequin you saw in store is supplied by a company that has been working with lots of different retailers for the past 30 years. This particular style is used in small number of our stores and is based on a standard UK size 10. The overall height (187cm) is taller than the average girl and the form is stylised to have more impact in store.
"As the mannequins are solid fibreglass, their form needs to be of certain dimensions to allow clothing to be put on and removed easily; this is therefore not meant to be a representation of the average female body. That said, we have taken yours and other customers' opinions and feedback on board and going forward we are not placing any further orders on this style of mannequin. The views of our customers are extremely valuable and we apologise if we have not lived up to the levels of service that we aim to deliver. Again, thanks for your message."
Berry has since set up an on-line petition appealing to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills "to establish a single standardised sizing category, to be recognised and used universally throughout the clothing industry."