With her stunning figure and captivating eyes, Shudu Gram has become the newest internet sensation. Ever since she made a debut on Instagram in April 2017, the beautiful supermodel has sent the netizens into a frenzy — her Insta followers are currently more than 60 thousand and still counting.
While many might think this supermodel might give supermodels Kendall Jenner and Bella Hadid a good run for their money, it is not widely known that Shudu is not a human supermodel. She is world's first digital supermodel, who was created by British photographer and digital artist Cameron-James Wilson.
But it did not go well among her fans shortly after revealing her original identity as many people doubt whether she is "too perfect to be real."
In an interaction with Highsnobiety, Cameron explained that Shudu is inspired by quite a few people but "her main inspiration is a South African Princess Barbie."
"Obviously, her real-life inspirations are pulled from so many different women — Lupita, Duckie Thot and Nykhor — even throwing it back to Alek Wek, who was a massive influence on how I saw beauty growing up," he added.
Shudu grabbed many eyeballs after pop star Rihanna's make up brand Fenty Beauty reposted one of Shudu's images of wearing the brand's lipstick shade. Following Fenty's involvement that arises Shudu's popularity worldwide, Cameron revealed that Shudu is not a human being. She is an art project — a product of CGI, which is basically 3D computer generated graphics that are used to create special effects in films and television.
Upon the revelation of Shudu being a digital supermodel, netizens have started questioning how a white man created a black woman instead of hiring a real black model, so he could "profit off of black women without ever having to pay one."
One user wrote, "This is problematic. Instead of hiring a black model, the photographer created one. Is it that hard to pay black women?" while another said, "I detest the fact that the minute dark skin is finally glamourized by the mainstream media a white man finds a way to commercialize & capitalize off it."
As much as I appreciate art I detest the fact that the minute dark skin is finally glamourized by the mainstream media a white man finds a way to commericalize & capitalize off it. Black skin is not a trend. Black skin is not a toy. Black women even more not so. #Shudu #FreeShudu pic.twitter.com/pu79IGcU1s— Sonia Pratt (@adrianette_) February 28, 2018
In his defense, Cameron said, "The comments that have been most critical of what I'm doing have been from white women, which was kind of unexpected. I had dark skinned girls and women message me to say that they absolutely love the art that I'm doing."
Asked whether it would be possible that the existence of Shudu's Instagram page could be pushing other would-be models out the door, Cameron replied, "I don't really see Shudu as a money spinner or a business for me. It's more of an expression, and when I've had companies approach me if what they want doesn't reflect in what I see for her then it's a no go."
He added, "You know it doesn't matter about the money or things like that. Because it's not why I started Shudu. I started her for me, to express myself."