She's stunningly beautiful, has more than 40k Instagram followers (and counting), and recently received the tacit approval of Fenty Beauty, but Shudu isn't your average Insta-famous model. In fact, she's completely fake.
Created by London-based photographer and digital artist Cameron-James Wilson, Shudu is a product of 3D imaging and Wilson's imagination. With her flawless skin, long limbs, and artfully curated Instagram account, she's been making waves online for months — especially after Fenty Beauty reposted a photo of her "modeling" its Saw-C lipstick, which caused her profile to skyrocket.
Soon enough, people began to question whether she was just a little too perfect and Wilson was forced to reveal the truth. He admitted she was a figment of his imagination and updated Shudu's Instagram bio to clarify that she wasn't human – it now reads "World’s First Digital Supermodel." Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, Wilson said Shudu was simply "a way for him to express his creativity."
"Basically Shudu is my creation, she’s my art piece that I am working on at the moment," Wilson explained. "She is not a real model unfortunately, but she represents a lot of the real models of today. There’s a big kind of movement with dark skin models, so she represents them and is inspired by them. Obviously some models like Duckie [Thot] were definitely big inspirations for her as well."
This did not sit well with people, who believe Shudu represents a lot more than one man's digital art project. The news of her non-existence has triggered an online backlash, with people quickly pointing out how problematic it is that she, a Black woman, was created by a white man and "hired" instead of an actual Black model, a demographic that remains underrepresented in the fashion and beauty industries.
As of press time, Shudu's Instagram account was still active, while Nfon's account (another 3D, Black "model" created by Wilson) appeared to have been disabled. Refinery29 has reached out to Wilson and Fenty Beauty for comment.
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