Shudu Gram has an enviable Instagram account. In every perfect snap this tall, glamorous model is flashing her pearly whites, strutting her long legs, and making us all reevaluate our workout goals. But can you tell what’s different about her?
If you look closely — very closely — you might realize that Shudu Gram is no model at all; not of the humankind, anyway.
She is a computer-generated celebrity created by 28-year-old photographer Cameron-James Wilson (who just happened to teach himself the computer skills to make her).
“Shudu represents what I’ve always seen as beautiful, but something I don’t see often enough,” he told Entertainment journalist Isiuwa Igodan. “Although there’s a slight change happening now, more people need to question, what really is beautiful.”
Shudu is now being called the world’s first digital supermodel, but her ‘coming out’ wasn’t as organic as Wilson had hoped. In fact, it took a Harper’s Bazaar magazine article by Jenna Rosenstein to break the news to the world (who were already in love with the model).
“We live in such a filtered world now, where real is becoming fake. I wanted to create something that is fantasy toward becoming more real, and bringing it completely the other way,” he told the magazine.
“As a photographer, I work with lots of different people all the time, real people that have inspired her,” Cameron-James told Rosenstein.
“At the end of the day, it’s a way for me to express my creativity — it’s not trying to replace anyone. It’s only trying to add to the kind of movement that’s out there. It’s meant to be beautiful art which empowers people. It’s not trying to take away an opportunity from anyone or replace anyone. She’s trying to complement those people.”
While Shudu’s creation has attracted admirers all over the world — almost 100k Instagram followers at the time of publishing — the supermodel hasn’t gone without criticism. Some people online have said that Shudu could end up taking jobs away from real black women.
— Icy (@IcyTheARTIST) April 5, 2018
— JG-UMP-UMF (@HighfieldsUK) March 3, 2018
We’ll let you make your mind up on this one. But we’ve all got to agree on one thing — Cameron-James is one talented guy! Follow his future work on Instagram.