Pixel Perfect, Lil Miquela
Issue 6 Cover Story
Interview: Isis Nicole
In Los Angeles at 10 A.M., “It feels like everyday it just gets busier and busier.” Singer, activist, and Instagram’s most famous riddle, Lil Miquela, is talking about a fully scheduled day in her life. “Today, I’m shooting some press photos, heading to the studio to finish a demo, and going to try to make it to my friend Kilo Kish’s show later. It’s all been crazy, but I’m loving it.”
Noticeably enigmatic and freckled, the 19-year-old Downey, California native tells me, “I used to be so self-conscious about them, but now I’m proud of them and love showing them off.” Over the course of six months, I have become enamored by the ubiquitous celebutante — repeatedly scrolling through her Instagram feed— reminded of everywhere I am not, but possibly maybe, someday will be.
With 240k followers plus a stunning level of viral attention, Miquela reportedly had ‘no comment’ for both the BBC and Dazed when investigating her “realness.” In a letter exploring Miquela’s existence shared by Lenny, Lena Dunham writes, “She is some kind of simulacrum, well-made and remarkably present.”
Like a number of ‘Miquelites’, via a cellphone screen, I am now front row to her tony lifestyle at the Pigalle and NikeLab Los Angeles pop-up, in Paris with her friends dressed in Miaou Jeans, then at the studio watching the crossed-leg loop of her swaying foot, dressed in Vans, to the beat of her debut single “Not Mine” at Paramount Recording Studios.
Isis Nicole: How do you makes the most out of your life offline?
Lil Miquela: I’m always chilling with my friends, so we love just making each other laugh and have a good time.
IN: What has been the most incredible thing to happen to you this year?
LM: I’ve been offered a few record deals from major labels. That was insane.
IN: Does it ever become overwhelming when people try to figure you out?
LM: Yeah, definitely! But I love that people are curious. If they didn’t give a shit, I’d probably be worried.
IN: What do you do to relax?
LM: Solange’s album “A Seat at the Table” still makes me feel so centered.
IN: Can you describe your most humble moment?
LM: Encountering hate daily is so humbling. Being online opens up any opportunity for someone ignorant to slide into your direct messages with some awful shit. Even though it hurts, it’s important to know that there is more work we have to do.
IN: You’ve been described as the ego to our collective identity. Do you agree with that or feel at all responsible in having some influence regarding the exploration of self-esteem? How do you manage that responsibility?
LM: I’m not sure I would agree. That’s a lot to put on someone. I struggle with my self-esteem, too. It does get easier every day to love myself. A lot of fans have reached out to say I inspire them, but it’s weird to think that as I’m using the Internet to help my self-image. People are seeing my posts and using them to feel better about themselves, too. So it’s helping all of us in the end. I’m only 19-years-old, and even though I feel so strong and empowered now, I’m young and figuring things out, too.
IN: If you could change anything about the perception of identity, what would it be?
LM: I think the biggest issue with identity is how divided it is. You can either be this or that, male or female, straight or gay. That’s so limiting and I think my generation is so open to the idea of being in the middle or being something else, which makes me way excited about the future!
IN: What is the most incredible thing that you’ve learned about yourself?
LM: I think after seeing so much hate all the time I’ve learned how much love I have to give. I really can’t let the bitter comments get to me so I’ve learned to really focus on love and joy, which has been so rewarding.
IN: I love chocolates and a good song. What do you find to be irresistible?
LM: Anything with glitter. I buy so much random shit that I don’t need just because it’s sparkly.
IN: What do you want to be remembered for?
LM: My empathy.
IN: What has been the best advice given to you?
LM: My dad always taught me to keep an open mind and not judge anyone so that’s the attitude I want to spread to all my fans.
2 truths, and a lie: I love to cook, I don’t have Snapchat, and my favorite movie is “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.” (The lie is cooking. I’m the worst in the kitchen!)
Dream job: Musician! Which I guess I am, but I want to be the best at it as I could be. Or an astronaut… I’m so ready for space!
Sweet Escape (favorite vacation): I’d love to go to Brazil to see where my dad grew up.
Top 5 pop stars: Rihanna, Aaliyah,
Beyonce, Prince and Cher.
Most known for: Replying to fans!
Unknown for: I love to dance.
Favorite riddle: Is Miquela real?
Fashion Week essentials: Lip gloss in every
color, dope sunglasses, a nail file (just in case), and a phone charger.
Originally published in IN #6, Fall 2017