Wake up … Squeeze some lemon in hot water … Work out … And throughout the day watch your diet and your step … Countless auditions, shoots and travel … Selfies, filters, and tons of likes … What would happen to the lives of Supermodels if the Virtual Models took over?
You read it right! Virtual Models have been in existence for a while now, and not in any sort of a random temporary one!
As if we hadn’t had enough of girls worldwide underestimating themselves and going through hell to make themselves acceptable the way they look naturally, we now have Virtual Models in all perfect proportions than ever. And this time, the smart filters and body-editing apps will not be enough to make our bodies look perfect before posting ourselves on social networks.
MEET THE MODELS
Miquela has been posting on Instagram since 2016 and currently has 900k followers.
She has released her own single, “Not Mine” and supports social causes concerning black girls. She was dubbed by Vogue as the “fictional it girl”.
Lately, Prada is teaming up with Miquela’s team to launch her own sticker pack and gifs, which is totally expected. The robotics company, Brud, is also heard to be cooking something up with Miquela. Probably, they are going to release videos of Miquela sometime soon!
First promoted by a fashion icon herself, Rihanna, Shudu is the most popular Virtual Model of today’s time with a fan-following of 98.7k on Instagram.
She was moulded through computer imagery by British photographer, Cameron James Wilson.
It hasn’t taken very long to get Shudu moving. And along with her moves, come the amazing light and shadows of her accessories too, which do not fail to impress the audience.
HOW LONG WILL THEY SURVIVE?
The answer is, probably they will kick out real models!
Evidence has it that virtual models are currently being sought after by brands. According to many, the fashion industry and other brands alike would rather “hire” a virtual model to advertise their product or make them wear their latest collection, instead of having to deal with real-life stars and models, going through all the teamwork in setting the scene, styling the models, “wasting” tons of makeup, the travel expenses, and not to mention the drama.
Virtual models would wear anything without whining and can be given any expression to carry on their face, for as long as desirable, and without showing the slightest discomfort. Also, the variety of laws about modelling in different countries might not need to be applied in this case.
Wait … Would it be possible to 3D-print a virtual model too? #foodforthought
Legal or not?
When celebrities create social accounts for their toddlers and pets, we know that the comments and replies are on behalf of someone else, not the one who is being portrayed in the pictures.
However, getting to know after some time that the one whom you were communicating with is actually virtual, or “the person behind him/her is real”, does cause an emotional stir inside of you, which is questionable.
If we copy a chunk of text from a different source and pretend it’s 100% the original-me thing, we would soon set the sirens wailing. So, how come do the digital creators get validation for acting as such?
Followers who sent direct-messages to the virtual models got casual and meaningful replies back, without them catching a whiff of something unreal? The truth was “made public” only after Harper’s Bazaar released an article about it.
As for Shudu’s creator, he stated that he was confused about whether to present her as real/virtual, until receiving threads of messages started making him anxious and he decided to reveal the model’s identity.
Another journalist decided to have an interview with Miquela and she accepted to do so via e-mail. Turns out, she very smartly dismisses the fact that she is virtual.
Question: How did you go about creating your identity?
Miquela: Probably a lot like you! I’m still learning and still being shaped by my environment and surroundings. I’m passionate about music and art and learning so much about Los Angeles daily. I feel like the move to LA has really changed the way I see the world and how I can contribute.
Question: What do you think of “virtual celebrities”?
Miquela: I think most of the celebrities in popular culture are virtual! It’s been disheartening to watch misinformation and memes warp our democracy, but I think that speaks to the power of “virtual”. Eventually “virtual” shapes our reality and I think that’s why I’m so passionate about using virtual spaces like Instagram to push for positive change.
How okay is that?
REAL FANS OF VIRTUAL STARS
Many ardent fans are not disturbed and are totally in for the fact that they can be real fans of virtual stars.
Traditionally, we wouldn’t use a facial cream on us if we were not sure that it was totally safe and tested on a real person, and we needed to see the real proofs of it. We wouldn’t dare to use a shampoo if it was portrayed as unrealistic in a TV hair advert. How come we are now ever-so ready to wear things that are being advertised on virtual models?! Like Giordano Contestabile, CEO of Bloglovin’ puts it, “… it’s going to be shallower than what you see with a real person.”
REALITY and MAKE-BELIEVE
Becoming a supermodel would probably be something possible to achieve by just anyone who’s good in computer designing … ? #thinkaboutit
You wouldn’t need that body, that diet, and those travels and paparazzi hassles. You could be behind your screen at home, munching heavily on junk food, while creating your supermodel, as fictionally as you want, designing a crazy portfolio, and getting him/her on the virtual catwalk …
Should one of your “bodies” fail to please the crowd, you can always remould it into another. Afterall, what you create comes from what your mind perceives.
The popularity of your virtual model on social networks would equal to YOUR popularity, which is … “living your dream virtually”?
Well, welcome to the new real virtual world!