A world in which humans are slowly replaced by Artificial Intelligence, starting with models. That sounds like something straight out of a synopsis from a dystopian novel. However, it’s not. The unreachable perfection of what is currently being defined as beauty seems too much for humans to be able to portray, because now the company Levi’s is introducing a new way of marketing and shopping: AI-generated models.
In spite of Levi’s supposed claim that it is doing it for the right reasons, many people are calling it a “fashion fail”, and others “artificial diversity. I can’t say I disagree.
One of the reasons Levi’s is planning to replace human beings with Artificial Intelligence is to create more inclusivity. However, the idea that technology can generate more diversity and inclusivity than real flesh and skin is not only preposterous, but inaccurate.
Levi’s claims: “We see fashion and technology as both an art and a science, and we’re thrilled to be partnering with LaLaLand, a company with such high-quality technology that can help us continue on our journey for a more diverse and inclusive customer experience.”
This plan to go against nature challenges the whole concept of so many industries: modeling, photography, marketing, etc. It eliminates them and falsely deems them as useless.
This unethical initiative is not only minimizing humans, but robbing them of their jobs as models and photographers. Especially since there is a national fear that this will become a trend.
Levi’s is used to this though, because in recent years the company has fired about 15% of its workforce. This allowed for the saving of about $100 million per year. It makes us wonder if the true purpose behind this initiative is really environmental friendliness.
The modeling of clothes is meant to portray the beauty of human nature. And the idea that another human being is wearing the clothes that you want to buy suggests a sense of comradery and unity that only humans can portray. How much humanity can these robots showcase?
Let’s not forget to mention the fact that these AI-generated models will be created by a computer and a few clicks of a button. Many have mentioned how this will allow for the showing of “bodies that are even more unrealistically perfect than those of heavily retouched models”
Models are often associated with beauty. So, what will it mean when models are capable of being created by men. This not only goes against the laws of nature, but it goes against the definition of what beauty is. Beauty is natural, and genuine; not man-made. It suggests a world in which beauty has to be carefully hand crafted. I will bet anything that these new AI models will be void of any acne, beauty marks, and blemishes.
And although we all know that the beauty industry still photoshops any human blemishes on a model’s skin, the fact that it is still there, behind the edits, is a comfort to so many men and women fighting the impossible standards of beauty. That comfort will be gone with the coming of AI models.
The irrational claim of inclusivity and diversity brings up many arguments in the media world as well:
“Who’s going to tell this multibillion-dollar company that it can develop a diversity and inclusion strategy by just … hiring and paying actual models of different races and body types?” said Tariro Mzezewa, a blogger for the Cut.
Not only that, but what about the inspiration that actual human representation instills in boys and girls from different races? I’m sure the fact that a diverse model isn’t actually human will erase any pride that could have been felt upon laying their eyes on the “artificial representation”.
Jasmine Rutledge, A Black, 28-year-old model who once worked with Levi’s as their “token Black girl for the day” agrees: “I think it’s silly, especially because there are so many diverse models out there… they talk about diversity, yet they’re not willing to go out of their way to book those people”
AI models will only instill more insecurities in an already insecure society, and it will create more unrealistic standards in an already unrealistic world. Let’s make some noise and try to stop this before it becomes normalized and we get one step closer to living in a dystopian existence.