Shudu Gram, The Black Virtual Model

Between humor and anime reels, Instagram occasionally serves me thought provoking reels. Yes, I realize there’s a reason my algorithm acts like this. That’s not the point. I wasn’t hunting for Shudu Gram, but Abadesi discussion about her in a Hustle Crews reel  grabbed attention. Before we get into it, feel free to watch the clip.

Who Is Shudu Gram?

If you didn’t watch the clip, Shudu is the self proclaimed “First Digital Supermodel” that was designed by Caucasian fashion photographer Cameron James Wilson. She’s got 238,000 followers on Instagram. Technically, the CGI turned 6-years old this year. The man that created it claims that he wanted to celebrate a beauty image that isn’t represented in media enough. Was his contribution really necessary? Is there a shortage of dark skinned models looking for work or is a black woman’s beauty more palatable in virtual form?

What’s The Big Deal?

On the surface, people might wonder what’s the harm in using virtual models. Shouldn’t the black community be happy that a dark skinned beauty is revolutionizing how we use technology in the fashion industry? Yes, she’s a dark skinned model, but models make more money from ad campaigns than runway shows. Models are already losing commerical deals to celebrities.

Also, you can’t create something out of nothing. Meaning someones likeness was used to create Shudu’s face and figure. According to an article featured in Vogue Paris, Shudu’s design was inspired by “The Princess of South Africa” Barbie doll. In theory, she’s based of a fictional beauty. That still seems suspicious to me.

I did not realize that the Pandemic gave virtual models and influencers like Shudu the opportunity to work. With the world quarantining in place, virtual models weren’t impacted by COVID-19 Prevention Measures. CBC News published a post about them December 21, 2020

What Will CGI Models Do To The Beauty Industry?

Modeling is already a young girls industry. The body style needed is heavily determined by Fashion designer. The younger you start the longer you’ll last. There are older women that still grace the runway. In most cases, they have to get their foot in the door of other industries for full-time work. If a designer has the option to manipulate how their clothes lay on a virtual figure, how about the models face. Rather than finding the it girl, they can make her. The proof is in websites like the diigitals. Virtual models aren’t restricted to slim figures. All body types can be created and manipulated for influencer purposes. Even mental and physical differences are up for grabs.

Final Thoughts

I am curious to see how these virtual models and influencers will impact employment opportunities for living and breathing models. Will graphic designers like Cameron James Wilson monopolize the modeling industry. Will these virtual influencers take brand deals from human influencers? Only time will tell.


Sharing is caring! Let me know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

Little Miss Mindful

Lifestyle | Self Care | Intentional Living

Dark Roast Magazine

DarkRoast Magazine is an exclusive wellness, connection and regulation magazine. We focus on health, realistic tools for emotional regulation and recovery, the importance of wellness, and connectivity. Take five and enjoy

Merry of August

Lifestyle Blog

Bournemouth Girl

Planning the life you want

A Sustainably Simple Life

Living sustainably on a budget

Twirling Book Princess

Twirling Through Books Daily

Mornings on Macedonia

DIY, Decor, & More

Helping you make Art with Life, one life project at a time

%d bloggers like this: