Digital Supermodels Ruin Body Image

In today’s society, the digital world has tremendous potential. However, what happens when the digital world starts to overshadow reality?

There are several fashion photographers currently creating computer-generated supermodels. These models are attracting enough attention on social media that they are regarded as influencers. With millions of Instagram followers and a huge audience, these models are growing in popularity, is getting to the point when they are beginning to rival models from the real world.

Various companies are partnering with these models to promote their products. Specific looks, open availability and full control over the images are all benefits for the brand choosing to use these models. This allows the companies to portray the message they want directly to their audience.

Being able to control the whole process has enabled fashion industry brands to shape our perception of beauty by promoting the physical features they see fit. It is as if they are manipulating society’s definition of beauty.

However, this is nothing new. For years, the fashion industry has been pushing its perception of beauty onto society. The use of computer-generated models is still a problem, though, because venturing into this space emphasizes a bigger issue: the blurry line between reality and fantasy.

As technology advances, differentiating virtual models from real-world models will become more difficult. Looking closely at some of these CGI model accounts alludes to this. Under popular CGI model’s Instagram account @lilmiquela, comments like, “Is this actually a robot?” or  “Is she real or fake?” reveal some followers' confusion.

Many people already struggle with low self-esteem or body consciousness. People compare themselves with supermodels, celebrities and socialites who have had enhancements done to their bodies.

Now imagine adding digital supermodels into the mix. The psychological damage applied to a person’s psyche when they begin comparing their features with a computer-generated supermodel’s features would be detrimental.

Some may bring up the argument of people comparing themselves with dolls. Many undergo plastic surgery to have doll-like features. The difference is that we know Barbie dolls are fake. We know that their proportions and features are unrealistic.

With CGI models, the ability to differentiate between what’s real and what’s not becomes more difficult. If an oblivious person decides to fully replicate the image of a perfect supermodel, not realizing the task is impossible, they will never be satisfied with themselves.