If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. After coming under sharp fire from customers, H&M is forced to admit that none of the models featured on its official website are actually real, having been created by pasting models' heads to computer-generated bodies.
The scandal started brewing up a few days ago, when more and more voices online began saying that all the models on the official page had basically the same body.
The proportions were the same, the pose was the same – everything about their bodies screamed “fake.”
Now, H&M is owning up to it, saying they came up with the idea of pasting models' heads on a virtual body in a bid to help customers focus solely on the clothes, Time
This way, they argue, they won't be distracted by the body of 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 on [a] computer,” Hacan Andersson from H&M says.
As H&M puts it, they came up with a body that showcases their clothes even better than a live person would be able to do. They compare the virtual body to mannequins in department stores.
Such a practice also makes their job much easier, since the “dress” the virtual body and then paste a model's head to it – and presto, they have the perfect model.
“This technique can be found in use throughout the industry. This is not to be seen as conveying a specific ideal or body type, but merely a technique to show our garments,” Nicole Christine, spokeswoman for H&M’s US operations, says in defense of the clothing giant.
The intention was never to send the wrong message to women – namely that they should all aspire to be as thin as the digitally created model – but to place all emphasis on the H&M clothes.
“It is regrettable if we have led anyone to believe that the virtual mannequins should be real bodies. This is incorrect and has never been our intention. We will continue to discuss internally how we can be clearer about this in the information towards our customers,” Christine stresses.
The fake but perfect “body” created by H&M looks like this