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Music & Culture

H&M’s Online Campaign Features Fake, Computer-Generated Models’ Bodies!

Did you know that Swedish-based retailer H&M recently admitted to Photo-shopping models’ heads on computer-generated bodies?

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In a December 4 article featured in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, H&M’s press officer admitted that the models’ bodies in its online swimsuit and lingerie campaigns are “completely virtual.”

Take a look.

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We take pictures of the clothes on a doll that stands in the shop, and then create the human appearance with a program on [a] computer (H&M press officer).

The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation criticized H&M’s decision, saying it demonstrates that “the demands are so great that H&M, among the poor photo models, cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.”

A company spokesperson argues that the fake bodies are simply a technique to allow consumers to focus on the product rather than the bodies of the models.

The virtual mannequins are used in the same way as we use mannequins in our stores for ladies wear and menswear (H&M spokesperson).

I’m confused!

If the intention is to just show the items of clothing, then why put real heads on fake bodies? Why not just put a fake head on the fake body? Is the real head needed so that we can relate to the models as human beings? But how is that possible when we are faced with a perfect body to which no one can relate?

Maybe I’m overthinking H&M’s decision. However, I can’t help but question why the media and advertisers continue to present us with fake examples of perfection when selling products. If we cannot relate physically to the model displaying the garments, why would we ever assume that we would look good in those items?

What message does this send? That H&M clothes only look good on perfect, unattainable bodies?

This story is another stunning example of how the media’s idea of perfection is just not real: it has to be generated and enhanced and manipulated. It should also be a reminder that we never should allow these images to diminish how we feel about ourselves. These are levels of perfection that no one ever can attain.

So ladies! The good news is that you don’t have to feel pressured to meet these aspects of perfection, because no one can meet them.

When you check out these models and their identical bodies of various hues, know that it’s all just a façade. And know also that natural beauty is not flawed and in need of perfecting. God simply created us unique.

What do you think about H&M’s decision to place the heads of models on computer-generated bodies? Have you ever felt pressure to have the body of a fashion model? Does this news help relieve any pressure you may have to be perfect? Girls PLEASE remember that all images in magazines are SO airbrushed and fake!

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Image: H&M

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COMMENTS 28

  1. lilyworshipsongs

    Posted by lilyworshipsongs on May 11, 2013 at 14:17

    yeah…if it wasn’t for the head and skin color, I would assume (at least) the picture above was a mannequin…H&M, you failed. Big time.

  2. Rosalynn

    Posted by Rosalynn on April 27, 2013 at 07:39

    I love H&M. They have some amazing clothes for awesome prices. The virtual bodies may have just been to save money. I wouldn’t do something like that, but it does put a bit more focus on the clothes rather than the person (since they’re all basically the same).

  3. pipo_star

    Posted by pipo_star on April 26, 2013 at 13:45

    Its done a lot… does that mean we should boycott stores like these???

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by hfryman17 on April 20, 2013 at 11:21

    It is sad to see that we are expected to be super thin, super pretty (which means covered in makeup), tan, and fake…the complete opposite of what God intended us to look like. The media is trying to turn us into something unrealistic, taking the beautiful girls God created and turning us into plastic!!! Remember he created you, just the way he wanted!!! Jeremiah 29:11 and he loves you more than you will ever know and he has a plan for you girls!!!

  5. XcanaceX

    Posted by XcanaceX on November 18, 2012 at 20:13

    Oh wow, I never knew that. I don’t really understand it though…I’ve looked through the swimsuits & lingerie on their website before and most of the models’ bodies (well, fake bodies) don’t even look that great! I’ve seen plenty of girls with much better, more athletic & womanly bodies than that. Why computer-generate something when it would look sooo much better with real people?

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by HE_is_the_WAY on December 16, 2011 at 07:40

    Those bodies look so fake! That is such a shame, no one looks like that and what happened to “We are all beautiful in our own way”? God made us in HIS image so therefore we are all beautiful <3

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by Muireann on December 11, 2011 at 20:56

    First they [supposedly] rip up clothes that they were unable to sell and throw them out instead of donating them- now this? Lol lots bad publicity, eh?

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by 1_artist on December 11, 2011 at 12:43

    Even decades ago, photos were airbrushed and altered, but not at the scale it’s being done now. It seems like as the technology for altering photos gets more advanced, it does more harm than good on people’s psyche. If you look at an older magazine, then look at a more recent magazine, I’ll bet you’ll see the difference.
    For some reason, ads for stores like JC Penny have more realistic looking models, because they look like normal people, wearing clothes targeted at normal people (whereas magazines like Vogue are targeted at the rich with extreme lifestyles)

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by 1_artist on December 11, 2011 at 12:31

    It’s obvious that all the pictures have the same body when you put them side-by-side. No one can have the exact same body shape, They’re totally fake (individually, they look somewhat real b/c they’re professionally altered, but together, they’re too similar, so it’s obvious). Anytime a picture is professionally altered, you can tell b/c it looks ‘too good to be true’. I agree we are all unique girls and guys, and alot of times our natural flaws actually enhance our beauty. No one was meant to be ‘perfect’. Who are these companies, and who is mainstream society to tell us what is ‘perfect’?

  10. Paris

    Posted by Paris on December 9, 2011 at 21:25

    I’ve always wanted a flat stomach because it’s needed for my career choice. You mostly have to have one in order to be one of these.

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by BeccaBunneh98 on December 9, 2011 at 20:21

    I think it’s terrible that Hollywood and the media put these images of “Perfection” in young girls heads. Why do you think there are so many eating disorders? Because girls are trying to attain a figure that only a chunk of plastic can manage to have!

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by Rachel.the.carrot on December 9, 2011 at 13:14

    I love how each of the model’s fake body is in the same pose as the next. Even down to their hands. You’d think they would want to conceal the fact that each model is nearly exact.

  13. Emily H.

    Posted by Emily H. on December 8, 2011 at 18:14

    That’s awful. They need to be showing girls that it’s okay NOT to be a perfect size 0! God made us who we were meant to be, we don’t have to conform to the world’s messed-up standards.

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by Countrygirl212 on December 8, 2011 at 15:46

    Fakers! How about we quit with the photoshopping?

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by onedirection4ever on December 8, 2011 at 06:52

    Well, my body looks like that except that my hips are a little bigger so it doesn’t REALLY bother me. I just don’t think that they should airbrush magazines and stuff. It’s wrong.

  16. pinkpenguin318

    Posted by pinkpenguin318 on December 7, 2011 at 15:13

    I wouldn’t go to say that all images in magazines are fake. Only because it’s so hard to tell. I still think that it should be made a law that there must be a note that can clearly be seen in an advertisement that the image of a model–male or female, child or adult–and not in in a 12 point or bigger font. Like…a little circle that says “computer edited” or “airbrushed” or something.

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by Grace98 on December 7, 2011 at 15:02

    Great article! This is so weird, I don’t understand why they would do that…

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by KristenLovesJesus on December 7, 2011 at 14:27

    I’m appauld at the “cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.” Way to point out that EVERYONE IS JUST TOO IMPERFECT FOR YOU! This is so offensive 🙁 I only shop there because they’re the only place that I have found the perfect fitting bras for myself, now I don’t really think I want to anymore… Now they hardly have to pay the models… Why not just photograph the mannequins then, I’m looking at the clothes anyways, not the model’s face.

    I just feel like models get drawn out to be perfect, and when they become imperfect, that just doesn’t settle well with me. No on is perfect, but that doesn’t mean their bikinis look bad, try putting them on normal people perhaps?

  19. Project Inspired

    Posted by Livvy Lou on December 7, 2011 at 13:14

    The bodies on those girls are just a ittle to perfect. I like my body and know that God blessed me with it for a reason.

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by Nisa on December 7, 2011 at 12:59

    Great article….that is what teenage girls need to be reminded of, theose models are an example something that nobody will ever be and we don’t have to even try to look like that. It’s sad how that “ideal” image of beauty is distorted.

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by doggrl92 on December 7, 2011 at 12:53

    this is insane!!

  22. Dreamer

    Posted by Dreamer on December 7, 2011 at 12:52

    The bodies don’t even look real. I can totally tell that they’re fake!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by smartbubble12 on December 9, 2011 at 21:58

      But I bet if you wouldn’t have known these were fake models you wouldn’t have been able to tell.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by JennaBel on December 10, 2011 at 08:02

        When you see that all of them are in the same position, it’s kind of a giveaway…

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by JennaBel on December 7, 2011 at 17:17

      I totally agree. They even LOOK plastic!