H&M has won praise for promoting realistic-looking women's bodies by becoming the latest high-street fashion retailer to leave its swimwear models' stretch marks, arm hair, scars and blemishes on show instead of airbrushing them out.
H&M's models look refreshingly at ease with themselves and their bodies, which makes a refreshing change from what we're used to seeing while bikini shopping online.
The move was widely praised on social media, with some pointing out "how far [the brand] has come" since it was accused of modelling its swimwear on computer-generated bodies in 2011, and lauding it for its body-positive stance.
I was scrolling through H&M’s website and I saw this super cute swimsuit. So I look more into it and as you can see, they have not edited their stretch marks out! I’m so proud of @hm like they’re really supporting natural bodies, I love it pic.twitter.com/FWkBnt02Tt— emma (@emmathewho) July 21, 2018
However, some suggested there was a long way to go until brands like H&M are truly representative of all women, highlighting the fact that all the models are slim and conventionally attractive and that there is little cellulite on show.
H&M didn't airbrush out some very skinny models' stretch marks and arm hairs and people are saying it's amazing. The bar for what we celebrate as progressive in ad campaigns is so low. Maybe cast a model who reflects the size of the average woman? https://t.co/8auqyuSkpG— Rebecca Sullivan (@beck_sullivan) July 26, 2018
H&M stops airbrushing bikini models who proudly show off their stretch marks - The Sun— Sharon (@sbarton28) July 26, 2018
Good! Now we need more models of all shapes & sizes with other normal body traits like cellulite so children grow up knowing we are all different & thats fine! https://t.co/qxtvhzEYZo
But H&M has made some positive steps when it comes to size inclusion recently. The brand announced last month that it would be making its sizing bigger after years of customer complaints that its clothes were smaller than other high-street items of the same size.
We eagerly await to see which high-street retailers will be next to buck the archaic airbrushing trend.