Photographer Cameron-James Wilson is facing backlash after fans discovered Instagram model Shudu wasn’t a real human after all–she was a product of his imagination.
The digital model gained over 45,000 followers on IG, with many admirers of the dark-skinned beauty believing she was real.
‘I was learning how to create 3D imagery for graphic novels and animations and I had the opportunity to create a model however I wanted,’ Cameron-James tells Metro.co.uk. ‘So I created the most beautiful woman I could.’
Shudu’s design is inspired by a Barbie doll and Australian model Duckie Thot.
While Wilson maintains Shudu is just a flex of his artistic ventures, former fans of the digital model find his intentions to be a little more insidious. Dark skinned women are historically underrepresented in the beauty industry, so for a White man’s creation of a Black woman to take up space and garner attention in the midst of WOC’s marginalization is insulting for the real life women clamoring for a job.
Wilson maintains Shudu isn’t for commercial use, even though the fake model was rocking a Rihanna Fenty Beauty color in one of her posts.
‘Shudu isn’t for hire, she’s a muse for my creative output,’ Wilson explained.
‘I’m not trying to replace models and if anything it’s a criticism in how fake society has become that a CGI Model can pass for real.’