H&M Has Stopped Airbrushing Its Bikini Models

H&M is getting praise for promoting realistic-looking women's bodies by becoming the latest fast-fashion retailer to leave its swimwear models' stretch marks, arm hair, scars, and blemishes on display, instead of airbrushing them out.
The Swedish fashion giant joins the likes of ASOS, Boohoo, and Missguided in ceasing to cover up its models' natural skin. It comes mere months after Monki, which is part of the H&M Group, won praise for showing natural-looking female bodies in photos that notably didn't pander to the male gaze.
The brand's swimwear models are shown on its website with stretch marks on their legs and behinds, small scars, hair on their forearms, and facial moles, which brands still tend to airbrush out despite growing customer demand to see people who look more like them in fashion campaigns.
Advertisement
H&M's models look refreshingly at ease with themselves and their bodies, which is a big 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 modeling its swimwear on computer-generated bodies in 2011, and lauding it for its body-positive stance.
However, some suggested there is still a long way to go until brands like H&M are truly representative of all women, highlighting the fact that all the models are still slim and conventionally attractive, and that there is little cellulite shown.
Still, 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 fast-fashion items of the same size. It may not be a totally groundbreaking move, but hey, it's a start.
Advertisement

More from Fashion

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women β€” & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.