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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • H&M defends practice of using computer generated bodies on its lingerie, swimsuit models

    The budget chic department store H&M was busted for placing real-life models’ heads on computer generated bodies for its online store selling underwear, lingerie and swimsuits.

    The practice was first reported by Norwegian website Bildbluffen, which noticed that the site’s underwear models’ bodies were all the same, while their faces were different.

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    But H&M isn’t apologizing.

    “This is a technique that is not new, it is available within the industry today and we are using it for our Shop Online in combination with real life models pictures and still life pictures,” H&M rep Håcan Andersson told the English-language Swedish website The Local.

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    H&M uses the same computer generated body, in the same pose, puts a different model’s face on it, and then changes the skin color to match the face.

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    “For our Shop Online we are using a combination of real life models pictures, still life pictures and virtual mannequin pictures. For all other marketing and campaigns – outdoor, TV, print and other media, H&M will continue to use real life models,” the rep said. “This is not about ideals or to show off a perfect body, we do this to demonstrate an item of clothing.”

    The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, said H&M is ”creating unrealistic physical ideals.”

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    “This illustrates very well the sky-high aesthetic demands placed on the female body,” the rep said. “The demands are so great that H&M, among the poor photo models, cannot find someone with both body and face that can sell their bikinis.”

    A rep for the company’s U.S. stores said the online models were more like in-store mannequins.

    “The virtual mannequins are used in the same way as we use mannequins in our stores for ladies wear and menswear,” the rep told ABCNews.com.

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