CGI Models – The Future Of Modelling

The world of technology is slowly being incorporated into everything, leading us to the Terminator-esque future we have seen in a million movies. But ignoring the grim fate that these movies paint for humanity, technology is obviously a game-changer, opening up doors we didn’t even know existed. Recently, a model started making headlines in the world of fashion, being called one of the most beautiful models in the world. ShuduGram blew up because of an Instagram post by her wearing make-up from Rihanna’s make-up line – Fenty Beauty – which was then re-tweeted by FentyBeauty’s Instagram, causing her followers to shoot up to more than 60k followers already. But people started doubting how real Shudu actually is, considering her flawless and perfect facial structure, maybe almost a little too perfect. But after keeping her identity a secret for over a year, British photographer and digital artist, Cameron-James Wilson revealed that she is his brainchild and is not real. He created her as an art project, a virtual avatar created using 3D image rendering software programme DAZ3D. He took inspiration from South African Princess Barbie, Ndebele heritage inspired Shudu, as well as real models and actresses such as Lupita Nyong’o, Duckie Thot and Nykhor. Augmented reality is becoming more and more common in today’s day and age, so it’s no surprise that we now have our very first digital model who is already growing quite popular. She has Tyra Banks’ approval and has also collaborated with Oscar de la Renta, rapidly making a name for herself in the industry and online. 

However, she isn’t the only digitally altered social media influencer out there. The Instagram account LilMiquela has been the cause of many conspiracy theories, owing to the fact that there has been no reveal as to the owner of the account. The account is filled with pictures of Lil Miquela, who has the body of a normal, real-life girl but the face straight out of the Sims. She has been getting bigger and bigger on social media, getting up to more than 800,000 followers on her Instagram page. She has gotten approval from the likes of Pat Grath and even released her own pop song last summer, as well as merch! Her appeal, according to her followers, is the aura of mystery due to her real face never being seen, which has caused a big buzz and has initiated a lot of theories to debunk the secret. With CGI models taking the lead and being physically perfect, will real models be pushed out of the limelight? Only time can tell how this will all fall into place, but the public eye seems to be enjoying the fun change.

-Rubaina Bilgrami