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MEET; The Perfect Black Model Shudu Gram

Shudu Gram is perfect in every kind of way when you see her. Shudu Gram is not like your everyday model, Shudu is a perfect black model. Shudu rose to fame when her pictures was a hit on istagram. Instagram has a platform where many models have shot to fame, and Shudu is just one of them. Read on for a reveal, but who she really is?


Meet Shudu

She has some very interesting features that has hold viewers and her fans spell bound. Smooth, almost pore-less skin, piercing eyes, and an enviable frame are just some of the features that have helped model Shudu Gram make waves on social media for almost a year. Nobody knew where the beauty came from, or who she was, only that she was perfect. She was just too perfect to be true.


Who is She?

Those where the exact words on her Bio, her identity was kept a secret even when a picture of her wearing bright orange lipstick was featured on the official Instagram page of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. Since making her debut in April, she has gained 66,774 followers on the photo-sharing app instagram(as at the time of typing).

There is a saying “when something is too good to be true, well it is because it is probably true”. That saying is true here. If you remember, I said there will be a reveal if you have been reading along, congratulations , no is the time for the reveal.

Shudu Gram is not a real person! She is the product of Cameron-James Wilson’s imagination and fantasy. Cameron-James Wilson is a photographer, with the help of CGI (computer generated imagery), 3D imaging and, of course, his imagination,  he created Shudu.


Shudu’s Creator

Cameron-James Wilson is a 28-year-old self-taught British  fashion photographer who is the man behind the stunning dark-skinned model. He created Shudu after teaching himself 3D, using online resources and YouTube videos.

“Shudu represents what I’ve always seen as beautiful, but something I don’t see often enough,” Wilson told Isiuwa Igodan. “Although there’s a slight change happening now, more people need to question, what really is beautiful.”

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When asked why he had kept Shudu’s identity a secret, he told PEOPLE, “CGI and 3D artists aim for absolute realism. In order to make sure I was hitting that mark, it was important that I was able to make her convincing as possible. If she was convincing people, I was on the right track. To perpetuate that she was real was part of my learning process.”

Isiuwa Igodan a journalist once asked where Wilson found the inspiration for her(Shudu), the photographer said that it wasn’t just one particular woman that the digital supermodel was based on; instead he drew inspiration from a lot of women over the years. For example, Shudu’s neck rings, or Ndebele, are inspired by a 1999 Dior advert for J’Adore where Carmen Kass walked into a bath of gold. “But her main inspiration is a South African Princess Barbie,” Wilson was quoted saying. Among other women who inspired his creation were Lupita Nyong’o, Duckie Thot, Nykhor Paul and even Alek Wek, who, said Wilson, “was a massive influence on how I saw beauty growing up.”

No Commercializing of Shudu

The reason behind why the photographer created Shudu was that he had always loved sketching beautiful women and Shudu started off as a creative project without any purpose. When he began creating images of Shudu, he says he didn’t do it with money on his mind. She was an embodiment of all of his passions — technology, sci-fi, film, gaming, and CGI movies.  Even now, in spite of her popularity, Wilson says that it’s about artistic expression for him as opposed to commercialization. He has stated that he wouldn’t accept offers from companies if their proposals weren’t in line with what Shudu stands for.


There is another saying “Nothing can truly be good in this World” whether that is true or not, we are not dwelling on that. Shudu has been received wit mixed reactions.

Credit @KosiHendricks

Even though the artist claims he wanted to spread the message of empowerment and inclusivity and many praise his talent, there was a huge backlash from people around the web, saying that by creating a black model the photographer wants to take away jobs from real black women.

@hodayum said “A white photographer figured out a way to profit off of black women without ever having to pay one,” wrote one Twitter user. “Now pls, tell me how our economic system is in no way built on and quite frankly reliant on racism and misogyny.”

Credit @ Hodayum

When asked what he thinks about all the negativity, Wilson says that he never had any ill intentions and is not planning on using Shudu as a commercial model. “To me she’s special, yes, but as are millions of real-life African men and women.”

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Is The End of Real Life Models?

With the continuous advancement of CGI and 3D imaging and the success of Wilson’s work, could this be the end of real models? Shudu is just perfect and this can be a beginning of a new trend. When asked what he thinks about that, Wilson said that he didn’t see a future where his creation of those of any other artists would take over the world. It is very possible that picture-perfect Shudu will quite literally change the fashion industry as we know it. Watch this space for future update.

All photo Credit : Shudu Gram’s Instagram Page


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