Does the Instagrammer You Are Following Really Exist?



There is a generation of Computer Generated Imagery or CGI instagrammers – are you following one?

Do you ever sit on your bed for hours on end scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed wishing for the life of your favourite influencer?

They have the lifestyle and appearance that makes you scream at your own dull life – in short, they represent the perfect storm of great genetics, fillers, fashion, friends and filters.

Truth is, they may not be real at all. A generation of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) influencers are making their way into the digital world, and you may even be following one and you don’t even know it.

 Here are 3 CGI influencers to look out for:

 Michaela Sousa, @lilmiquela

The most notable of CGI influencers, 19-year-old suntanned beauty Michaela Sousa’s Instagram feed is a stream of designer ‘outfit of the day’, and wittily captioned lifestyle pictures.

With an enviable designer wardrobe, 1.1 million-strong Instagram following and features in a boast of fashion publications, the LA-based Brazilian/Spanish model and musician appears to be living every insta influencers dream. Only in reality, she’s not technically living at all.

It doesn’t get more 2018 than this. ‘Lil Miquela’ as she is known online is fashion’s first computer-generated influencer. She’s in with top-tier fashion industry folk like Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert and Margaret Zhang, has become the muse of beauty tycoon Pat McGrath and debuted the Italian House’s GIF sticker pack, and … she’s completely computer generated!

After being hacked by another CGI influencer @bermudaisbae, Lil Miquela was forced to disclose to her followers that she was in fact computer generated linked to Brud, a LA based company that specializes inartificial intelligence, robotics, and their applications to media. But the entire saga remains an apparent mystery with Miquela announcing that she was “no longer working with” ‘her’ managers at Brud.

Shudu, @shudu.gram


Shudu, the CGI “supermodel” created by fashion photographer Cameron-James Wilson,is best known for modelling Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line. ‘Her’ account shot to fame when Fenty Beauty reposted a “photo” of Shudu “wearing” the brand’s lipstick. Wilson says since then, he’s received offers from plenty of brands in the fashion and tech worlds all eager to work with the CGI model.

Bermuda, @bermudaisbae


An influencer who appears more CGI-esque than life-like, Bermuda is a pro Donald Trump lifestyle influencer who boasts a following of 73.6 thousand on Instagram. ‘She’ shot to fame after hacking Lil Miquela’s Instagram account resulting in the disclosure of Miquela’s identity a CGI influencer.

With the rise of digital influencers, questions are being raised around issues of trust and ethics and point to a wider problem of accountability on the internet. It’s becoming increasingly impossible to tell the difference between automated and human identities online, and maybe we’re heading in to a time where we will no longer be able to distinguish whether we are following and aspiring to be like a machine or a real person.

So, is this the future? Do you fake it ‘till you make it? One way or another, things just got real.

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Amie Maclaine


Amie is a self-professed make up addict with a larger perfume collection than anyone in the southern hemisphere. There’s not a night of the week you won’t find her without a face mask on, and cup of peppermint tea in hand. With a passion for all things food and wellness, she’s the first to jump on a new heath trend. If she’s not rocking one of her well-loved rugby jumpers, you’ll find her in her active wear, Almond Dirty Chai in-tow, ready to take on the day.

3 thoughts on “Does the Instagrammer You Are Following Really Exist?

  1.' Rosie says:

    What a fantastic article thank you for that insight it will certainly have an impact of modelling of the future as long at they can also portray LifeSize models not just size 6

  2.' Alison says:

    So interesting and so believable. We can be herded around like a flock of sheep.
    Full disclosure is so important in this technology age !

  3.' Pauline says:

    Nicely written Amie ?

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