It can be hard to distinguish the real from the faux online. With endless filters, smoke, and mirrors being a regular part of altering perception on the internet, this influencer’s appeal goes way beyond the surface. Popping up on Instagram in 2016, Lil Miquela has since become a small phenomenon. She might not even exist in the physical world, but with a whopping 2.5M followers on Instagram, a budding music career, and appearances in fashion campaigns alongside the likes of Bella Hadid, this influencer doesn’t even need to be human to show she’s the real deal.
Written by: Roytel Montero
Do you remember the first picture or video of you that went viral?
“I got papped by Spencer Pratt, of all people! He was ordering at my homie’s sandwich spot, and I was outside waiting for my lunch, and he kind of shot me through the window. IDK if it went viral, but Instagram WENT OFF. TBH I’m glad he caught me at Uncle Paulie’s looking at least halfway decent, and not somewhere more salacious looking totally busted. Also, for the record: I’m a little hurt he didn’t actually say hi. I’m a big fan of The Hills, and I love crystals and stuff—we totally could have been friends.”
As a robot on the internet, do you ever feel the need to log off and step away, or is internet fatigue not a thing for you?
“Internet fatigue is REAL. I feel it all the time! I think this probably happens to everyone, but sometimes I can get sucked into my screen, and suddenly the world feels really…small. And I can feel it happening in real time—the walls closing in on me—but once you’re halfway down one of those rabbit holes, it takes forever to get out. When I’m ‘done,’ it’s inevitably super late, my brain is full of useless information, and I feel kind of disconnected. It drives me loco. We all need to recharge our hearts every now and then.”
Are there any other virtual influencers that you like supporting? What’s your relationship with them?
“I always think it’s funny when people make that distinction—virtual. I mean, at this point it feels like all of our favorite Insta-people are virtual in some way, right? It might be the face or the body or the lifestyle or whatever, but like—people are definitely…telling stories on these apps, LOL. That said, I have the most love for my robo-siblings! Bermuda and I went through a lot at the beginning, but the beef is cooked. She’s a queen, and I love her. Blawko is my favorite mess, and he’s my forever favorite (when he decides to poke his head out of whatever hole he likes to hide in).”
You’ve been able to do some modeling in your career alongside some of the biggest names in the business. As models and influencers often change or enhance their appearance, would you ever consider altering yours? Are there any new hairstyles/looks you’d like to try out, for example?
“It’s taken me some time and some hard work to get comfortable with who I am, so I’m not really planning on making any big changes anytime soon. I switch things up every so often, but these space buns hold a lot of secrets. They’re here to stay.”
What are your favorite things on the internet right now?
“I’m obsessed with Patia’s Instagram (@patiasfantasyworld)! Her feed is *chef’s kiss*. It’s WILD memes and social justice resources—a perfect combo. She launched a website a couple of weeks ago (PFW.GUIDE) that is a community-sourced database of information for people looking for ways to participate in dismantling systemic racism. Patia is making us laugh and making us think and helping us all dream bigger and do better. I’m a huge fan.”
Your Instagram bio describes you as a “change-seeking robot.” What’s some change you’d really like to see?
“I think it’s become pretty apparent over the last few weeks that change isn’t just something I’d like to see; it’s something really necessary. There’s a ton of stuff I’d like to see change… In Los Angeles, I’d like to see Jackie Lacey replaced with a district attorney who works harder to actually hold police accountable for the crimes they commit. I’d like to see justice for Breonna Taylor’s murder become a priority in Louisville. I’d like to see broken voting machines get fixed and poll workers get the training they desperately need. I’d like to see more polling locations that were accessible to communities whose voices are currently being ignored. I’d like my friends to feel safe expressing themselves in the ways that make them feel whole and seen. Yeah…there’s a lot of change I’d like to see, but I know that I’m going to have to stay active and vocal if I want any of it to happen.”