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H&M Under Fire For Using Fake, Computer-Generated Models

Swedish fashion chain accused for using virtual models with unrealistic body shape.

Yi Chen
Yi Chen on December 8, 2011. @yiiee


Recently, Swedish fashion chain H&M came forth and admitted to using computer-generated models to showcase a range of collections on its website. The virtual models look completely human, but if you look closely, they all have the same body shape and pose. The real model’s head has been superimposed on the body and the skin tone has been digitally altered to match her complexion.

It was Swedish website Aftonbladet that first noticed the uncanny similarities of the models. Hacan Andersson, a spokesman from H&M, confirmed this by saying:

It’s not a real body, it is completely virtual and made by the computer. We take pictures of the clothes on a doll that stands in the shop, and then create the human apperance with a program on a computer.

This method has created some controversy among netizens who have criticized H&M for creating a false reality for its customers and creating an unrealistic body image for women to live up to.

Andersson argued that the choice was made because it simplified the process of the photoshoot and also that customers can focus on the clothes rather than the models. He explained, “The result is strange to look at, but the message is clear: buy our clothes, not our models.”

H&M

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