Stereotypization of woman body as a daily practice of the advertisements

The Swedish fashion chain H&M admitted that a fake body has being used for their fashion models. It is quite clear from the pictures: a sequence of nice faces stuck to the same perfect digitally modified smooth-skinned body, which changes color depending on the face it goes with. The fashion chain also declared that this technique was used in order to show their items instead of the models.

As a matter of fact, this episode doesn’t bring anything new to the discussion about the figure of woman in our daily lives and the use of digitally modified images.

It is been already a while that almost all the pictures we see used in advertisement are “photoshopped”: the bright and shiny skins, the deep colored eyes. Not only the pictures but also videos and movies that are every day on our screens are modified. The Hollywood’s celebrities themselves are most of the time better rendered thanks to the technologies available to¬† the post-production teams.

So many has already been said also about the extremeness of the standard of the woman body presented by fashion houses and advertisement companies and about the danger of offering such a standard: danger to encourage the younger to be too skinny and I would suggest the danger of making everyone in society feel uncomfortable with a model everyone feels impossible to reach.

This episode also offers some new insights on the profession of models. What is the use of spending time and energy trying to achieve a perfect body that can be easily created just with some mouse work at the computer.

In reality, the news was badly represented in the media, which didn’t explain that the reason for this choice is also a technical one. If you enter in the website of the chain you’ll see that you can make the fake body wear what you like, and this is much easier to do by using always the same body rather than changing it for every picture.

The main point I think is how much we want our public spaces and public imaginary to be dominated by this kind of pictures, which are still referring clearly to our real bodies (they are intentionally realistic-looking), but they are so perfect to render our bodies so imperfect.

What is the use of using a perfect body to sell clothes to a population which big majority is not even close to that kind of perfection?