Shudu Gram is a model, an Instagram star, and of course, stunningly beautiful.
Since establishing herself in the fashion and beauty industry, she has been associated with a load of brands from Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty to Soulsky.
Shudu has already racked herself up a steady amount of Instagram followers too – over 40k and counting.
People have been calling her stunning, a goddess, literally perfect, and it would probably be unfair to say that any of the previous are untrue.
And although one might assume that a black model receiving so much positive attention online could only be a good thing, as it turns out, things are not entirely as they seem.
… Because Shudu isn’t even real. She’s the world’s first CGI supermodel, made entirely from digitally altered graphics.
That explains why she’s so perfect then.
Shudu was created by photographer Cameron James Wilson, who says that the model was one of his first creations.
According to him, she is a “labour of love.”
“I think it’s important to add to empowering imagery of dark skinned women. I had the chance to create the most beautiful woman I could, and her [sic] she is.
“I personally don’t think 3D will replace real models because without real models Shudu would never have happened.”
And while everybody can agree that Shudu is stunningly beautiful, many have also taken issue with the fact that she is not real.
Not so much because of the potential effect her existence may have on real life working models, but because of the effect her existence may have on real life working black models.
Essentially, why digitally create something when you have it already?
So Shudu was created by a white man to profit off of black women without actually having to pay them??? HELLA NERVE. Technology came a long way however It’s plenty of dark skinned models who look like her but they get overlooked. Book them instead of cloning them. https://t.co/oiB7vA8l7U
— Elegant? (@Drebae_) February 28, 2018
Black models, specifically dark skin Black models are not a trend though. We should be the norm. Ok. Even though Shudu is a beautiful digital creation, I hope that he can shoot with real dark skin Black models and pay them accordingly too. https://t.co/2FGTZ2IoEm
— ?ecca (@MJFinesseLover) February 27, 2018
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
Others, however, disagreed.
They commended the fact that black skin was finally being celebrated in such a way, and that one man’s idea of “perfection” manifested itself in a digital version of a black-skinned woman.
I get y’all are mad at the guy who created Shudu and want actual dark skinned models but I also want to see more black models in the 3D art category.
So is it impossible to have both?????
— NoMustyDemonShallProsper (@BABYGW0RL808) February 28, 2018
What’s wrong with sharing his art art? He’s clearly in 3d media.. He’s literally like any other guy who draws/animates people for fun?
& who said he was profiting of off Shudu? This is just a project. I swear twitter always wanna make issues that aren’t there https://t.co/oV1ZnUerBv
— Denise Anne (@denisetaquito) February 28, 2018
I agree , his statement was wrong but idt his intentions were. And the model shudu isn't used for commercial purposes, as in he only shares it on his instagram. So even if she was real she wouldn't get paid…. pic.twitter.com/TL5lnzTKDH
— Zoe (@glittrbomb) February 28, 2018