SO lets get this straight. I am writing about the success of a model who doesn’t even exist, has over 1.5M followers and somehow landed a spread Vogue?!?!??!
…..Meet @lilmiquela the 19 year old, LA based, robot/influencer/singer /model.
Don’t get me wrong, I know just as well that technology is moving super fast and the prospect of everything turning into a virtual reality is virtually a reality, but it’s just as confronting and incredibly troubling all the same.
We know there are plenty of fake people in the world, give Instagram a scroll and you’ll see time and time again manipulated images of celebrities and influencers enhanced one way or another. If not digitally at least most definitely cosmetically.
And then, if you consider the backlash and harmful effect of that alone on young females; article after article outlining the negative impacts of Instagram and social media on our mental health, I’m incredibly dumbfounded as to how and why – a figure of pixilated imagination, is being celebrated by one of the recognised magazines in the world; Vogue.
And to be frank, I’m a little concerned Instagram itself hasn’t stepped in here. They explicitly take a stand against spam, fake accounts and those who do not follow the community guidelines. Regularly accounts are whipped out as we see follower counts go down on those profiles who have purchased fake followers. And yet here we are with a definite fake account with over 1.5Million followers?
Instagram’s community guidelines explain users must ‘foster meaningful and genuine interactions’ and that ‘spam, fake accounts and other people and posts that don’t follow our Community Guidelines may be removed from Instagram.’
Double standard much.
Especially considering that the creator behind Miquela is unknown and we are yet to understand her intentions as to why. In an interview with Business Of Fashion she explains “I’d like to be described as an artist or a singer or something that denotes my craft rather than focus on the superficial qualities of who I am,” Which is a little concerning considering she is, without a doubt superficial??
Not only have we seen her fiercely compete in the rat race that is #INSTAGRAM, regularly doting the latest pieces trending from designers, attending private events and exclusive launches, even giving interviews as to her favourite use products….“The Dyson Supersonic hairdryer may or may not be the real secret to keeping my buns intact.”
Errr false advertising no? She can’t even use the damn thing.
Which when you think about it…isn’t that a bit unsolicited? That’s like asking superwoman her favourite workout to keep in shape… If she physically can’t hold the material or use the product how can she be endorsing it?
And even if the person behind the avatar is, we don’t even know who they are?! It could be any Tom Dick or Harry behind a computer anywhere in the world.
Let’s be real, the reason influencer marketing works so well, and is worth every penny of its projected booming US$2 billion industry is that the content created is real and it’s authentic. The people endorsing the products and wearing the clothes and attending these events are living, breathing, individuals.
I don’t know, it’s all a bit weird and I’m kinda (most definitely) concerned that recognised and reputable platforms and personalities within the industry are playing along…