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Body Scanning Needs to Be a Human Experience

Three-dimensional body data should make it easier, not harder, to be kind to ourselves.


Not counting airport security, I’ve been body-scanned three times over the past five years. Each time, I take off my clothes, change into a sports bra and tights, and step into a scanning booth.

I hold my breath for a few seconds as a group of sensors captures the coordinates for the space my body occupies and turns those points into a three-dimensional body model. As futuristic as it sounds, the technology has actually been around for awhile, and it’s a pretty simple process with a lot of retail potential: A graphical representation of your body takes less than a minute to generate and, among other things, can be used to assess the fit of a garment or the way fabric will drape on your body.

Every time I’ve done it, the experience gets a little faster and easier, and the model I get back is more sophisticated. What hasn’t changed is my reaction to seeing my body.

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