Fake Instagram Personalities
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Digital personas like Miquela are designed to become “influencers” — individuals that ignite fashion, fitness, food, and lifestyle trends whether it be posting romantic images of chocolate ganache or of the latest Valentino chiffon evening dress. These picturesque snapshots drive eager Instagram users to purchase the product being advertised or adopt the message being conveyed.
To me, the idea that an absolutely inhuman entity is able to influence our likes, dislikes, thoughts, and decisions more than our own selves is startling. For example, it took a fake online personality, Louise Delage, and her repeated artsy posts with alcohol to get many young users to be aware of the unrecognized addiction of a loved one. It took her fake account to get individuals across the world seriously talking about this issue and the Addict Aide Campaign. Personally, this speaks a lot to our current generation’s emotional vulnerability, lack of self-control, and ignorance. Have we become so superficial that it takes an absolutely flawless yet fake personality to elicit a meaningful response? As humans, are we actually unaffected by the emotions and conversations of other humans? What does this say about our level of humanity?
The article continues to explain Shudu, a stunning model with dark skin and fierce eyes. She is the creation of Cameron-James Wilson, a veteran fashion photographer. Many critique whether or not a white man like Wilson had the right to define black beauty. Because of Shudhu, critics wonder if human models of color are not receiving the spotlight and opportunity they deserve. Specifically, some critics like Jessa Lingel, an assistant professor at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania who studies digital culture, believe that models like Shudu are fetishizing women and women of color. Wilson, on the other hand, believes that the fashion industry is not being diverse enough. As a result, he has been committed to create new digital supermodels: Brenn, a plus-sized model and Galaxia, an alien model.
I believe that Wilson’s goal to diversify the fashion industry is very progressive. However, his means to do so, through digital models of color and plus sizes, is not. In fact, the creation of Shudhu, Brenn, and Galaxia contradicts the goal to embrace individuals the way they are. These digital models we view on Instagram are perfectly shaped with extraordinary features like flawless skin, remarkable bone structure, and beautiful makeup. Individuals begin to associate women of color, of plus-sizes with these ideal and unparalleled features. In reality, all women have their own unique features and thus, individualized beauty; the perfect woman has her imperfections. Creating a perfect-looking human to respect people in all shapes and colors is nothing but disrespectful. These models promote seeking physical perfection in women. Appreciating the online presence of Shudu, Brenn, and Galaxia is not embracing individuals the way they are, but embracing individuals the way they were idolized by a man.