Lil Miquela is a singer/influencer on Instagram who has stirred conversation in the world of social media due to her interesting appearance.
Lil Miquela’s Instagram account is a 159-photo grid of selfies and sponsored posts wearing trendy brands under the handle @Lilmiquela. While this seems like a recurring theme of a typical girl’s Instagram page, her account in particular has created quite the debate. Photos of the Instagram model are seem literally “unreal.”
Social media users were confused by the first selfie taken in 2016 of Lil Miquela next to who seems to be her friend, Molly Soda (@bloatedandalone4evr1993) . In the photo, Soda appears like a real person — back slightly hunched, hair blowing in the wind, shadows cast beneath her glasses and all. Lil Miquela, on the other hand appears less human — unnatural shadows, unexposed and more graphic.
The confusing posts by a seemingly real-life cartoon sparked conversation, but it was after YouTuber Shane Dawson uploaded the video, “Conspiracy Theories and Interview with Lil Miquela,” Dawson’s tribe of 13 million subscribers were called to order.
Dawson questions, “Is this a gimmick created by the record labels?… did they think creating a digital artist would somehow blow up and make them a lot of money?”
This concept is plausible given the digital era of the modern world. For example, In Japan, a digital, anime popstar is the face of singer Hatsune Miku. This popstar releases music and performs at concerts in holographic form. This type of inhuman public figure is obvious, due to the character’s animated appearance that perfectly imitates the style of a popular Japanese cartoon character. Lil Miquela, on the other hand, is more confusing given her very realistic look and persona.
YouTuber Phillip DeFranco declared Lil Miquela is “not a real person” on his YouTube channel, and he would not be alone in his theory.
Dawson’s conspiracy regarding a group of men fronting as a young girl behind a screen was debunked when Lil Miquela said to him during an on-phone interview, “I’m not some 50-year-old man, like excuse me, bitch.”
Although Lil Miquela had finally agreed to an interview via phone call, her identity was kept vague throughout the call, avoiding any direct questions.
When asked exactly what she is, Lil Miquela responded, “This may be shocking, but I’m Miquela.”
The controversial Instagram model compared herself to other girls modeling on Instagram, blaming the worldwide trend of apps like Facetune used to edit the appearance of models on social media.
“Can you name one person on Instagram who doesn’t edit their photos?” Miquela pointed out.
More recently, managers from an “LA-based technology startup specializing in Artificial Intelligence,” known as BRUD, posted an apology to Lil Miquela announcing that she was their “latest project: the worlds most advanced AI unparalleled in her ability to feel and communicate.”
@Brud.fyi said they are “in a difficult spot with Lil Miquela” after the seemingly animated model uploaded a long paragraph saying that “BRUD lied to [her] and is lying to you.” She continued, “They were not straightforward. I’d ask them what I was and who built me and they’d ask if I REALLY wanted to know.”
Many Lil Miquela followers are now wondering if the Instagram drama is a publicity stunt to gain popularity or if it contains any ounce of truth.
The question as to whether or not Lil Miquela is an advertisement for the new Sims game, an Intellectual Intelligence Bot experiment or a way of publicity as a new-and-upcoming artist remains debatable. The only evidence lies in her Instagram posts and is up for interpretation.
“I keep getting asked if I’m fake, but I’m really here. I’m really talking to you and really DMing people on Instagram. I’m just trying to make some great art and make the world hurt less,” Lil Miquela said. “I think people’s interpretation of me says more about them than me.”