Extreme photoshop

because not even one bit of these models’ bodies is good enough.

The bodies of most of the models H&M features on its website are computer-generated and “completely virtual,” the company has admitted. H&M designs a body that can better display clothes made for humans than humans can, then “dresses” it by drawing on its clothes, and digitally pastes on the heads of real women in post-production.

For more, go here.

(Thanks, J!)

11 thoughts on “Extreme photoshop

  1. actually, it seems that they all have the exact same non-real body, just painted in different flesh tones.

  2. I doubt this has to do with not one bit of real models’ bodies being “good enough”. Doesn’t it seem more likely that this is being done for the mundane reason that it’s probably much less expensive and time-consuming for H&M to use virtual images of bodies than it is to do traditional full-body photo shoots with real models wearing different clothes?

  3. Don’t you think they have to pay for the head shot and the rights to use a models image even if it is just her face?? This is really fucked up. Like I have said a million and one times, I am looking for clothes for my body not my hangers…god knows they have more then enough to wear already. The fashion industry is totally screwed up…

  4. Oh, I bet H&M still has to pay, but probably not as much as for full body shots; and no one has to re-pose or be fitted. And they could use head shots of face models who probably come cheaper than fashion models.

    Perhaps this practice could actually erode the hegemony of a certain body type in the modeling profession.

    However, once things get to the technological and economic point where we can generate and manipulate varied virtual photorealistic heads more cheaply and easily than using real headshots, out go the headshots too.

    Our plan to phase ourselves out of reality entirely is proceeding apace! Though virtual people don’t buy many consumer goods. We need to get our best minds working on that problem.

  5. “Perhaps this practice could actually erode the hegemony of a certain body type in the modeling profession.”

    The practice of using ONE body over and over would do the opposite of erode it.

    However, the practice of CGI models could be done with a multiplicity of bodies, imagined bodies, even fantastic bodies with five arms, ten legs, all shapes! Now THAT would erode hegemony of a type.

    In the meantime, though, I remain committed to the value of depicting actual human beings, in our actual variation. H&M is not hurting for profits, so I wave my regal hand and pronounce: Let them use real women, different ones, whose first two fingers don’t land perfectly on their perfect hips.

    (Your last comment, Nemo, is MUCH fun! Hoot!)

  6. Not being virtual people ourselves, we could stop paying attention to what the fashion industry proposes and pushes.

    Well-made clothing lasts years and years, and there is absolutely no reason to replace clothing that covers my body and keeps me warm.

    Where I live at least, there are lots of places which sell used clothing. That’s great for recycling and the environment.

    So let the virtual people buy clothes from virtual models.

    Here I sit wearing a tee shirt which I salvaged from my nephew’s drawers and drawers of no longer cool clothing. It must be almost ten years old (the kid buys good quality stuff, bless him) and it will last me another few years.

  7. Profbigk, I meant that using virtual images of bodies could erode the hegemony of body type *within the modeling profession* (I use the term “profession” loosely here) – since the barriers to entry for people with nice-looking headshots but not Twiggy-esque body morphology should theoretically be lowered. But of course you’re right that it would have the opposite tendency in society generally, so the tradeoff doesn’t seem that great!

  8. Cool. Also, did s.wallerstein just come up with the best slogan for an H&M boycott? “Let the virtual people buy clothes from virtual models!”

    (I know, the larger point was that we could all opt out of fashion-based purchasing — just feeling surprisingly punchy.)

  9. Personally I think this a vast improvement over models who starve themselves or images that are “merely” photo shopped. Label them as virtual and remove all pressure whatsoever for real human beings to aspire to look like this. I love some comicbook super hero bodies but it doesn’t ever occur to me that my body ought to look like that. Love the idea of going really wild. Wings! Two heads!

  10. Antennae! Flippers! Also, why not halos? I’ve been reading a book on religious art, and it seems to me the halo is a fashion just waiting to come back.

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