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Op/Ed

Walmart has new virtual try-on system you’ll have to strip down for

Walmart is not the first commerce company to adopt AI strategies into the shopping experience, but this one takes it a whole new level…

walmart Be Your Own Model Experience

I never thought there would come a day where I had to make it very clear that I, in fact, do not want Walmart to see me in my underwear. However, that day has arrived. The giant retailer has made an extension to its line of applications and tools by adding The Be Your Own Model Experience a new virtual try-on tool.

There are some pretty nifty things about this application. The Verge reported that it has “Over 270,000 items of apparel across Walmart’s portfolio of brands that can be tried on using Be Your Own Model.” Meaning we are not just talking about what you see seasonally in store – there will also be all of the brands Walmart has online as well, such as Levis, Vans, Hanes, and everything in between.

All you have to do is strip down to skin-tight shorts or underwear and a tight top. Then you start up the application and take a photo at a distance. After they have verified the clarity of the photo, you have access to their entire library of clothing.

In their statement about the app, they said, “Launching this next iteration of virtual try-on technology delivers on our continuous goal of making online shopping an inclusive, engaging, and personalized experience that better replicates in-store shopping.”

It’s not like there aren’t other virtual clothing tools out there, but they hardly ask you to take your clothes off. So far, Walmart hasn’t disclosed how they plan on assuring us that our semi-nude photos won’t get leaked. If their store’s cleanliness is any indication of the way they handle their tech though…I would approach with caution.

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Prior, Walmart had the Choose My Model Experience, where people could choose from a wide array of models and see what clothes looked like on those individuals. I prefer that method more but of course, in a world with diverse bodies, there is no guarantee there will be someone with a similar shape.

Walmart is affordable and an experience every time. I will probably always shop there, however, I simply can not see myself using this try-on method. It’s a matter of self-preservation.

In any case, even if you wear a jumpsuit and take the photos, Walmart can’t guarantee those photos won’t wind up on the internet, which could harm your chances of getting a job if found by a future employer. Sure the idea is a bit old-fashioned but workplaces are still fairly old-fashioned as well. It will probably still take some time for employees to accept nude or even semi-nude photos of prospective employees without blinking an eye.

Before you jump into any app or tool, always check its privacy and security to make sure you’re covered – literally.

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A native New Englander who migrated to Austin on a whim, Stephanie Dominique is a freelance copywriter, novelist, and certificate enthusiast. When she's not getting howled at by two dachshunds or inhaling enough sugar to put a giant into shock, she is reading, cooking or writing about her passions.

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