Lil Miquela: A ‘Real-Life’ Influencer

A little while back when I was scrolling through my Instagram timeline, something caught my eye that raised question marks. It was a pretty typical post of a woman wearing an outfit that probably costs more than I make in a month. 

What wasn’t typical was that this woman was computer generated.

That was my introduction to Lil Miquela, an Instagram influencer with over a million followers on Instagram. She’s been hired to be an art editor for Dazed, modelled for several Hypebeast favorite brands and had a spat with fellow Instagram influencer Bermuda. That’s a lot of history for someone who doesn’t exist outside of a screen.

Miquela was created by transmedia studio Brud, though the reason behind her creation is rather mysterious. It seems as though they’re interested in creating a genuinely compelling story in the same vein as reality television. Her creation has proven to be a statement on celebrity authenticity.

Lil Miquela is a prime example of how the world of fashion is colliding with technology-driven social media. Although she’s not real, the clothing pieces that she wears are, and a quick scroll through her page reveals that non-CG people have taken notice of her.

Is it uncanny and even a little creepy? Yes. But maybe Lil Miquela’s a perfect representation of influencer culture.

After all, how real is the life people project on Instagram? Celebrities are constantly caught photoshopping their photos, and there are constant questions of whether or not their drama is staged.

The app doesn’t reflect the reality of regular people either. We don’t upload photos of ourselves cramming over finals or treating ourselves to a face mask after a long week. The photos that we upload are staged parts of our best moments, making us look as though we don’t ever need a face mask.

Lil Miquela, though she’s entirely CGI, might be the most real Instagram influencer of them all.