Virtual Models, H&M and the Bottom Line

The outrage that has broken out over society’s perception of the ideal female body and the “unrealistic” set of standards that it sets for the average woman has become a broken record. Is anyone else seeing this as a card accusers whip out in their arguments to satisfy the ever growing overweight population?

Today I read an article from Yahoo! News by ABC News about H&M having to defend themselves for using virtual models for their website; It just baffles me how little people think about business decisions from the business’ standpoint. Every smart and successful business is keen on how to improve their bottom line. With the world gravitating towards technology and improving their virtual assets to stay modern, it should come as no surprise that an innovative retail giant such as H&M would eventually try something like this. It is actually a genius idea. The turnaround from concept to production to public reveal is dramatically accelerated with this module. This also obviously cuts their expenses down and allows them to allocate their funds appropriate to what they see best suits the brand.

Their global marketing campaign boasts beautiful human models, both well-known and amateurs. They are not discriminating against the human race! They are simply trying something creative and are being slammed for it. Where is the justice? Where are the encouraging words for forging a possible path for the future? As history will prove, people are afraid of what is new and different until they know more about it. Jealousy could also be a part of it.

What consumers need to realize is that they are subconsciously buying a fantasy. Before they even step foot into a store there is already many factors in play to narrate this story in the shopper’s mind through media outlets that showcase a morsel of what they have to offer. It is seductive. Inside, the store is set up like a movie set with flow patterns and purposeful merchandising proven to draw you into viewing all of their products in a way that gets you to their dressing rooms. It is all a science and the mannequins are an integral part of it. When you see the merchandise on the mannequin you are not thinking of the mannequins features, you are thinking of how that article of clothing which interests you would fit on your body and how you want it to be a part of your wardrobe. Inside a store, you are an actress playing the part the clothier wants you to play. It is all about the bottom line.

Another thing that irked me about this article is the fact that they called that female form unrealistic. Have you ever watched a Victoria’s Secret fashion show? I’m pretty sure that technology has yet to produce a robot supermodel that fierce walking down the catwalk. This widespread mentality of hiding behind the “I’m real” card has got to stop. Are models not real people too? If you want to get it together and have a body like that, then you can work for it just like they do. These women have babies and walk down the runway just a few months later. If you put your mind to it you can achieve anything. Likewise, if you don’t want to, then don’t complain about about someone’s body being “unrealistically perfect” when you are capable of getting off the couch.

Source: ABC News, Yahoo! News, H&MVictoria’s Secret

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