"H&M continues getting heat for the cyborg models on its website, this after a representative told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet the company uses virtual bodies to best display the clothes -- increasingly standard practise in the fashion industry...H&M defended the technique, explaining that clothes look better on virtual mannequins than on humans"

Me and my wife regularly discuss issues relating to perceptions of attractiveness in the media etc, and to me, this one just about goes beyond the pail. What really fries me is this line

“This is not about ideals or to show off a perfect body, we do this to demonstrate an item of clothing," Mr. Andersson told Aftonbladet.

That isn't an excuse.

Let's break it down here. Models are used why? To show an item of clothing off. Why do you want to show that item of clothing off? To make people want to buy it. But surely then, to make it most attractive you will show it off on the person you consider it makes look the most attractive? Do you not see, H&M the very small number of steps it takes people to see that when you put a model up, you are assisting in the creation of an idealised female type. The fact that you are now having to go to extremes and actually manufacture your models is kind of...socially dangerous. You're effectively presenting women with ideals, whether you intend to or not, that are not in fact real.

Does this not seem rather despicable?

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Erm...can you rephrase that in the form of a coherent sentence?

Then put a caption that the people aren't real.

I see these new virtual models as a relative nonissue. Although, currently, they are setting ridiculous standards for the women interested, they could, in the long run, prove to be a step in the right direction.

As someone else has already mentioned, virtual models can prove to be an advancement when online shopping, i.e. a person could choose the height, weight, and other attributes of the models which clothing is presented on, thus giving women(and men)a much more comfortable and esteem-friendly sense of beauty.

However, I acknowledge that these 'cyborg models' are not contained to a personal, online audience and are, rather, projected via magazines, billboards, and commercials to the general populace. And, I do see this as being an issue. I am certainly aware of the unattainable beauty standards set on women as is, and I don't think that simply putting a disclaimer of 'this is a virtual model' on each ad is going to solve the problem either. Frankly, the knowledge that something is fantasy does not excuse the fact that it is concieved as preferred. The average person is unlikely to look past the fact that, all though the images they are shown are fake an not intended to be viewed as an ideal, these are the 'normal' images that they are constantly bombarded with. Basically, it only perpetuates the current situation, not worsens. Despite most women nowadays being aware that model body types only make up 5% of the population, and knowing that many of these body types are made more unnatural by unhealthy eating habits, body modifications, and photoshopping, they still obey the standard; completely fabricated body types aren't going to prove much of a difference. It's an unforunately broken cycle which can only seek repair in its abolishment, but that would mean serious loss in profit, wouldn't it?

I think I hold a view that many people generally tend to agree with. I do not think that skinny models are amoral, and companies that use them are spawns of the Devil. What I do have a problem with is the society's incapability to have some sort of a filter that makes them stop and think - 'Oh yeah, 500 calories a day is not exactly a healthy diet.' If you have a look at the number of models in relation to how many non-models there are, I think we can conclude that there is, in fact, more of us (non-models) than there is of them (models). So actually we are surrounded by people who, in theory, are not size zero. I agree that media does portray the image that skinny = beautiful, but equally, media is also starting to take baby steps in the direction of the bigger the better, which to me is just as bad. Obesity is another form of an eating disorder, which is just as bad, as it can also lead to severe organ failure and depression. 

Anyway, not to stray away from the original point. Basically what I am trying to say is that instead of criticising the media who, let's face it, is never going to change, we should concentrate on changing the general mindset of the people who seem to love jumping from one extreme to another. We should be spending our time and energy telling young (and not so young) people that it is good to have a mind of your own, and that media is not there to dictate our lives, but to merely entertain us. Fashion magazines should not be read religiously, and models should not be worshipped. 

I think that is ridiculous. Speaking as a girl who has guy friends who like looking at those kinds of "models", I find it extremely disrespectful. I teaches them that they don't have to ...settle, I guess, for the girls around them. They should shoot for the unnaturally thin, fake girls. Now, I have a lot of self respect, but I know that some other girls don't have any self respect at all, and seeing that guys like the fake models better than them, makes them feel bad, and sometimes they kill themselves over it. Therefore, it's disrespectful AND very dangerous for girls who are not very self respectful or who are emotionally unstable.

psychological weapon :( 

I had a laugh at this when someone sent me a link of multiple "models" all colored and dressed differently but with identical bodies.

I thought it was a gimmick to get around paying models - who were already rail thin.

but if they are arguing that the clothes look better on "fake models" than on humans - perhaps they should start making clothes that actually look good on real humans.


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