H&M Under Fire for Putting Models’ Heads on Perfect CGI Bodies

Retailer streamlines images online

H&M is taking some heat for pasting the heads of real models on computer-generated bodies in swimwear and lingerie photos on its site. To be more precise, the client is using one virtual body, rendered in different skin tones to match the faces. An H&M spokesman explains, "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." So, don't quit your starvation diets yet, skinny models, there's still plenty of work to be had from H&M! On a serious note, many complaints focus on the use of a trim, leggy "Stepford Model" ideal, unattainable for most, that further objectifies women by suggesting their bodies should all be identically proportioned. Given the persuasive power of media imagery and the implication that slim shapes are to die for, I'd say H&M is walking a very thin line. More images after the jump.

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@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.