If you’re like most people out there – most likely – you have a Fenty Beauty product on your wish list. Which is completely understandable given the brand’s ability to establish itself as an “inclusive” brand catering to all skin types with its foundation line for “hard to match” skin tones. Their Instagram feed is filled to the rim with photographs of models of all backgrounds and colourings, and one model seems to stand out… Shudu.
So if you’re a magazine freak like me and you’ve been mesmerised by the model scene since the 90’s, then most likely you have memorised the faces and names of every imaginable model out there. Therefore, I was quite intrigued with Shudu and decided to check out herInstagram account and that’s where the shock was!!
Turns out Shudu is the World’s First Digital Supermodel, as announced by it’s Instagram account. Even though we’ve all become experts at using and applying filters so we really don’t know what’s real anymore but this is taking it wayyyyyy further. Even for the most experienced of eyes, no one would’ve guessed that Shudu is completely fantastical, no traces of reality whatsoever! Shudu is a gorgeous black skinned model with a flawless complexion and slanted black eyes that are – shockingly – full of expression!!
Inspired by a Barbie doll called Princess of South Africa; Shudu is the creation of London-based photographer Cameron-James Wilson. “ She is not a real model unfortunately, but she represents a lot of the real models today”. He continued to explain that “…intent is not to fool or trick anyone,…but rather to be a beacon of inspiring beauty and creativity.” Using a 3D modelling program, he explained how it takes him several days to come up with one single shot where Shudu is doing some pose or another.
It seems that Fenty Beauty were not the only ones using a digital model in their campaigns; Pat McGrath have also jumped on this bandwagon and they have featured Miquela; another computer-generated model. Wilson believes that with all the digitally-altered photos out there; and through the use of filters and enhancers people are aiming to turn reality into fantasy. He continued that what he is doing is basically the reversal of this process; he is turning fantasy into reality by digitally creating – what he deems as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Though we feel this is undeniably futuristic and somewhat cool, however, it seems that the blurred edges between what’s real and what’s not have been completely crossed. In a world where untouched photographs are getting embraced all around and where “inclusivity” is the trendiest word in the industry right now, I refuse to believe that one man’s vision of the world’s most beautiful woman is a non-human version!