What’s the Story Behind Lil Miquela and Other Virtual Social Media Stars?


  • Miquela Sousa, who goes by Lil Miquela, is an Instagram star with thousands of followers, a social media influencer, a musician, and a completely virtual person. She has more followers than you, and she doesn’t actually exist!

    Lil Miquela is one of the biggest mysteries on the Internet. Miquela is a blend of a CGI modeling and photoshop compositing. She posts selfies, photos of her with her friends, and even a few politically-pointed posts.

    Despite being made of pixels, Miquela has a new single available on Spotify titled, “Not Mine,” but who is behind Miquela? Miquela’s creators are unknown, and they keep their identity (or identities secret.) However, Miquela has given a few interviews.

    She recently spoke with Shane Dawson over the phone, dodging questions about her true identity with millenial optimism.

    So, who is behind Miquela? A few truth-seekers have a theory. Nicole Ruggiero is an Instagrammer who happened to comment on one of Miquela’s early posts. She also bears a remarkable resemblance to the CGI model.

    Oh, and Nicole also makes 3D models. Her instagram feed is a mix of 3D and digital art, selfies, and more. Nicole’s work has been featured in many art shows centered about virtual reality, social media, and technology.

    But, Nicole tells the Washington Post she has nothing to do with Miquela saying, “She seems very realistic, like she’s actually a social influencer,” Ruggiero said. “Whoever came up with this is brilliant.”

    What do you think of Lil Miquela? Are you creeped out? Do you love her feed? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.

    And if you want to see another touching story of human / robot relationships, here’s a little girl hugging a water heater whom she thinks is a mighty metallic man.