That’s My Face but Not My Body! Virtual Mannequins in the Mirror

A few days ago I tweeted about a disturbing report that the clothing company H&M was affixing human heads onto computer generated bodies to sell swimwear and lingerie. This post arrived in response to that tweet from an anonymous reader via email.

For background read: http://jezebel.com/5865114/hm-puts-real-model-heads-on-fake-bodies

and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/05/hm-fake-model-bodies_n_1129864.html 

Growing up in the 90’s, I understood that it would be impossible for me to look like the fashion models I saw in magazines. This information was passed down to me by older women (namely my mom, teachers, and aunts) who explained that models were airbrushed and often had massive amounts of plastic surgery. We’ve all heard the story about how if Barbie were a real person she wouldn’t be able to stand up because her boobs would drag her to the ground. Like most girls, I grew up inundated with cultural messages from the fashion industry about what it means to be an attractive woman. I felt the irony when everyone around me was simultaneously telling me “girls can do anything.” Although not happy nor content with these messages, I became comfortable deflecting the “thin ideal” that we have grown accustomed to tolerating from the media.

NOW the fashion industry has kicked it up yet another notch! In 2011, ultra thin airbrushed models are being traded in for non-human digitally created images! Don’t companies like H & M know that their advertisements have the ability to impact millions of women and girls and the way they feel about their bodies (many of whom are completely unaware that they are looking at computer generated bodies)? The worst thing about it is the size and shape they chose to be their perfect image. They created prepubescent females with no curves and no flaws. I find it highly disturbing that H & M’s rebuttal is that these new models will allow consumers to pay attention to the garments and take the focus off of the bodies! Are they kidding?? I hope one day the Surgeon General of the United States will step in with a mandatory warnings on these adds (other countries have already started the trend): WARNING ADVERTISEMENT MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH: MODELS ARE NOT REAL. Until this time, my daughters and nieces will grow up in a world where I will have to explain to them that fashion models are not only airbrushed, but computer-generated as well.

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About womaninthemirrorblog

Author of The Woman in the Mirror: How To Stop Confusing What You Look Like with Who You Are
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