H&M defends fake body models

Swedish clothing retailer H&M has admitted tacking models’ heads onto computer-generated bodies in order to sell swimwear and lingerie.

The ruse was spotted by Norwegian website Bildbluffen, which noticed that all the women in the online ad campaign had identical bodies striking identical poses. The only difference, in fact, was that the skin tone had been tweaked to match each woman’s face.

Speaking to The Local, H&M press spokesperson Håcan Andersson defended the controversial move. “This is a technique that is not new; it is available within the industry today and we are using it for our Shop Online in combination with real life models pictures and still life pictures,” Andersson said.

“For our Shop Online we are using a combination of real life model pictures, still life pictures and virtual mannequin pictures. For all other marketing and campaigns – outdoor, TV, print and other media, H&M will continue to use real life models.”

The revelation has sparked media interest across the world, with many commentators claiming the computer generated images fuel the fashion industry’s obsession with unrealistically skinny models. H&M billboards have also been some of those defaced by activists who are campaigning for more healthy depictions of women.

Andersson, however, denied that this is the reason behind the decision. “This is not about ideals or to show off a perfect body, we do this to demonstrate an item of clothing. This is done for all clothing, not just for underwear, both male and female clothing,” Andersson told the Aftonbladet daily.

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