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Virtual Insanity


Come on, H&M. Don’t do me like that. My favorite discount retailer has outdone themselves with douchery (yes, douchery — a new word). H&M now has “virtual models,” computer-made bodies and faces, to model their lingerie and bathing suits. Oh, right. Because women’s bodies are imperfect and curvy, and you want an androgynous stick figure to model your $14.99 string bikini bottoms. Has there ever been a more convincing argument that our society’s ideal body image is, in fact, impossible?

Take a look at these pictures. A really close look. Yup, that’s the same exact “body” with two different computer-generated faces. H&M press officer Hacan Andersson proudly proclaims that “it’s not a real body; it is completely virtual and made by the computer…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.” Totes! Obvi! Why didn’t anyone think of that before? So much easier than dealing with a real woman’s body, which you’re going to airbrush anyway. No airbrushing necessary, since you can literally construct this body from nothing to fit your bull shit version of ideal. They maintain that it keeps the focus on the garment, but that could not be a weaker excuse. The whole appeal of lingerie is to imagine yourself in it. When you see a woman walking sexily down the catwalk with her stick figure body and overflowing boobs, you aren’t meant ...
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