ART IMITATES LIFE: THE NEW WORLD OF “DIGITAL INFLUENCERS”

We live in very interesting times. Things are changing so fast. Technology and innovation are in the fore front of things, and everyday people are designing things to make life easier, faster and just, well, different.

It is through one of these inventions that Shudu was created. In April, 2017 Shudu was created, by fashion photographer, Cameron-James Wilson. Shudu was designed to be a striking South African woman in her mid- to late-20s. She has 135,000 followers and 28 posts on Instagram.

Shudu was catapulted to fame after being featured on Rihanna’s Instagram wearing the new Fenty beauty lipstick, and then an interview with Cameron-James Wilson for Cosmopolitan.

Image via @shudu.gram

Cameron-James has gotten a fair amount of backlash for the the creation of the virtual model from people accusing him, a white man of presenting a model in a way that takes jobs away from black models and creating an opportunity for people to work with a black woman without “working with” a black woman.

Image via @shudu.gram

Shudu is not the first model of her kind. There are @LilMiquela, @Noonoouri and @Lightning, all digitally created, ultra realistic models.

We are not sure what the future holds with the creation of these virtual models, but one thing is sure, it is definitely a sign of things to come and we are not sure we are ready.

Valerie Ekpo
ekpovalerie@gmail.com
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