H&M is taking fashion douchebaggery to the next level this week by using computer-generated models in its holiday lingerie campaign. As if the photo shopping, airbrushing, pushing up, and sucking in that goes on in a typical yuletide bra commercial wasn't enough to make the average shopper want to throw on a snuggie and call it a day, now the models selling us our delicates are actually virtual.
Couldn't they at least have mixed the poses up a little? Come ON!
According to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, H&M fully admits to using computer-generated models for the campaign. As Jennifer Ward, a rep for H&M, told Fox News 411, "The virtual mannequins are used in the same way as we use mannequins in our stores for ladies wear and menswear," meaning that they're just for displaying garments and are not meant to represent actual people.
I call shenanigans, H&M. If these robomodels weren't meant to represent real women, why use "facial models" to give each one a human face? Why bother changing the skin tone and hair on the virtual bodies you downloaded? If these CGI bodies are just meant for clothing display, why have fake women wearing them in the first place?
Regardless of their intention, the use of computer-generated models takes the already-narrow standards of beauty promoted by the fashion industry and whittles them down to a tiny toothpick. Especially because, through the magic of technology, H&M is making it look like lots of different women just happen to have IDENTICAL bodies. What message does that send? Not only that you, person shopping for cheap lingerie online, don't look like these models—but that EVERYONE ELSE DOES. Here is a screen shot I just took from H&M's website:
Ahahaha! We're just hanging out, having the exact same body! What, you don't look like this?
As savvy feminists like us know, photo shop and digital image manipulation are more popular with the media than Jennifer Aniston pregnancy rumors, and some might argue that this is a logical next step in their march toward the obliteration of real bodies. Those people may be right, but that doesn't make it any less douche-y. Instead of forcing every consumer to get a photo alteration detector and take every bra ad she sees with a grain of salt, H&M, how about using real people in your lingerie ads?
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