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H&M defends marketing lingerie with fake models

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 7 Dec 2011, 11:37

Published: 06 Dec 2011 13:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Dec 2011 11:37 GMT+01:00

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“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," said H&M press spokesperson Håcan Andersson to The Local on Tuesday.

The pictures are featured on the multinational clothing giant’s webpage and depict the computer-generated bodies sporting swimwear and lingerie. The figures, which are all adopting identical poses, are completed with the face of a real life model.

The only distinction between the models’ bodies is the pigment of their skin which has been adjusted to fit their faces.

Håcan Andersson told The Local that the firm will continue to use real life models - in their entirety and not just their heads - for current and future campaigns.

“For our Shop Online we are using a combination of real life models 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 pictures are featured on the multinational clothing giant’s webpage and depict the often idealized female of a thin and leggy form with eight different faces and sporting sporting swimwear.

The ruse was first exposed by Norwegian website Bildbluffen, during a campaign for underwear, and the revelations have generated significant interest in media outlets across the globe.

The firm however denied that the reason for adopting the method was due to difficulty in finding real-life models whose bodies fit the perceived advertising ideals.

“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 on Monday.

The fashion industry is regularly criticised for using wafer-thin models in its advertising and H&M is among the firms who billboards are often targeted and defaced by activists.

Story continues below…

In a debate article published in January 2011, Sweden's culture minister Lena Adelsohn-Liljeroth called on consumers to "Boycott the fashion industry's sick beauty ideals", warning of the damaging effects on impressionable girls.

In a comment to Aftonbladet on Monday, Adelsohn-Liljeroth said:

"The fashion industry has a responsibility for the ideals which they choose to create and reinforce."

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:29 December 6, 2011 by flintis
Doesn't make a difference whether they are computer generated or not, they do not represent the norm & entice gullible females to diet perpetually. Mind these look better then the ones one the kicks advert
15:34 December 6, 2011 by Svensksmith
They look kinda scrawny to me.
15:42 December 6, 2011 by Mark737408
how pathetic
16:48 December 6, 2011 by Just_Kidding
I as a dude dislike their skinny models, computer generated or real...
17:02 December 6, 2011 by McChatter
"..in order to sell swimwear." Is that swimwear they're wearing? Must get some new specs!
18:55 December 6, 2011 by dizzymoe33
Only 1% of the population is that thin the rest of us 99% have curves where a woman is suppose to have curves. Time to wake up and stop telling women that we all need to look like a computer generated model.
23:44 December 6, 2011 by JLondon
Sorry - computer generated or not,.... the one on the right is friggin hot!
00:40 December 7, 2011 by Grokh
the most beautiful thing in a womans body are their curves, and it is healthier for women to be on the lower end of their bmi.

the fashion industry as well as alot of other pop culture stuff are the main causes for so many women being so damm insecure, this is exploitation and there should clearly be guidelines to follow to protect young girls that think they need to look like a skelleton and buy stupid products to feel good about themselves.
09:27 December 7, 2011 by spo10
Funny that they needed real human heads to put on top of fake bodies. Get real H&M. Just computerize the whole damn models.
12:20 December 7, 2011 by dobermann
I would rather see curvy computer generated body than this zero size teenager bul..it. And this is lingerie not just clothes, you need curves if you want to show it..A good example is Victoria's Secrets..
14:57 December 7, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I protest most strongly!

One of the computer-generated models looks exactly like my partner.

20:41 December 7, 2011 by big5
"The fashion industry is regularly criticised for using wafer-thin models in its advertising "

wafer-thin, LOL! (Mr Creosote, anyone?)

that metaphor just doesn't work with people. Anyhow stop whining Swedes. There will always be pretty people. It's not fair. Get over it.
10:58 December 8, 2011 by yourkidding
The fashion industry is really messed up but these photos sadly aren't as emaciated as many real models you see on the runways. There have been several instances of models used by famous designers actually dropping dead because their bodies were so starved they had started to feed off their own muscle (the heart is a muscle) and as a result they went into cardiac arrest right on the runway and died. It is a sick society when the "ideal" women looks like an auschwitz survivor.
13:04 December 8, 2011 by big5

Thanks for expressing what I was thinking. Those H&M models look healthy. Not even very skinny. There's nothing to get upset about IMO.
13:29 December 8, 2011 by BritVik
Let's face it, would you buy anything if the models were full of flab???
16:09 December 9, 2011 by foxpur
I wonder if the models who get the face used get paid full?
17:38 December 9, 2011 by tadchem
I knew a lingerie model in high school. She modelled ladies undergarments for a nationally-distributed catalog. She had a killer body but a face that could stop a grandfather clock. On a scale of 1 to 10, she earned a 9, but that was ALL below the neck.

There can be good reasons for photoshopping one models head on anothers body.
11:07 December 10, 2011 by wakak
Come on, there are so many pretty women in Sweden, it should not be difficult to find some nice ones for pictures.

Or is it that no pretty woman wants to get photographed wearing H&M clothes? This I would understand better.
21:07 December 10, 2011 by Cage
I don't see a problem with it. Isn't the point to look at the clothes? Who cares if the models are photoshopped and/or computer generated? Makes no sense.
08:43 December 11, 2011 by Lavaux
If the fashion industry has a responsibility for the artificial ideals it creates and promotes, shouldn't politicians have a responsibility for the artificial ideals they create and promote? Socialism is an entirely artificial ideal that does more harm than good, but you'll never see a socialist politician accept responsibility for the harm done.

BTW, why should the ideal woman be chubby, dowdy, nosey, bossy and hostile to bowth her natural femininity and assumed masculinity? Why can't the feminists let us guys take a break from their constant assault on our nature to enjoy a few momentary and fleeting fantasies involving us ravishing a fit, feminin hotty? C'mon guys, we've got to start pushing back against the feminazis before they strip us of all self-respect for our masculine nature. The gentlemanly passive-agressive approach isn't slowing them down.
19:19 December 12, 2011 by Beachhannah
I noticed that the clothes didn't sit right on the models, I thought they looked abit robotic. I don't think they should be computer generated, computers are already cutting out so many other industries. But if they are going to do it, do it properly and not botchy.
04:29 December 19, 2011 by yourkidding
@ Lavaux

Are you saying that if you are not a model then you are an ugly femminist?

Actually, it might be cool to see more fit, hot buff guys instead of balding, beer gutted,loudmouthed, aging, hypocritical men who are no male models themselves but feel it's justified for them to get older, flabbier and more wrinkled, but God forbid a woman does. Grab a brain.
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