Swedish retail clothing brand, H&M, has been charged for using computer-generated model bodies for showcasing their swimwear and lingerie collection on their e-commerce site. It has been reported that the company's clothes are mainly shot on mannequins, which are then photo-edited to generate the perfect look.
Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet has accused H&M of creating the morphed images because it was not satisfied with the quality of models they had, earlier, on their site. These computerized images were first noticed in Norway, via Bildbluffen, which is a site that identifies altered photographs.
When questioned, an H&M spokesperson told Aftonbladet that the company's aim was to ensure the focus was on the merchandise and not the model.
We take pictures of the clothes on a doll that stands in the shop, and then create the human appearance with a program. The result is strange to look at, but the message is clear: buy our clothes, not our models, the tabloid quoted the spokesperson saying.
The retail brand is currently facing sharp criticism from the Scandinavian advertising watchdogs and also from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation who believe that the brand was creating unrealistic physical ideals.
According to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation's spokesperson, Helle Vaagland, these attempts demonstrate the sky-high aesthetic demands placed on the female body. The demands are so great that H&M, among the poor photo models, cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.