And now, a concept seemingly engineered in a lab to simulate the feeling of spontaneous neural combustion: Lil Miquela, a CGI influencer apparently controlled by a mysterious L.A. start-up, is “consciously uncoupling” from her human boyfriend. Lil Miquela announced to her nearly 2 million Instagram followers on Thursday night that she and Nick, the alive boy she has been dating for some time, “are no longer together.”
“This is the inevitable ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ post,” the permanently 19-year-old bot wrote, using a term most often associated with Goop maven Gwyneth Paltrow. Noting that “falling in love for the first time is FUCKING INTENSE,” Lil Miquela — or Brud, the cohort of “engineers, storytellers, and dreamers” who made her in 2016 — explained the split in empowering self-love terms optimized for an online audience:
I thought it would be all rainbows and lollipops and sharing sweatshirts or whatever, but it turns out that there’s way more to it than that. Wild, right? I wasn’t ready for how much I’d end up NEEDING Nick, how alone I’d end up feeling when we were apart, and how much of myself I’d lose while trying to be ‘perfect’. I’m super grateful that my first experience with love was with someone who cared about me with his whole heart, and even through the embarrassing breakdown and breakup that followed, this legit feels like a breakthrough? I’ve got a lot to do, a lot to see, a lot of myself to discover, and I know that I probably need to do that alone, you feel me?
It’s classic influencer spin, but because it comes from the mouth of a semi-cyborg it has also tied up my brain in a Gordian knot. Still, I suppose this qualifies as a natural next step in Lil Miquela’s simulation: Doxxing by a fellow avatar in a possible (and successful) bid to boost her following; making out with Bella Hadid in a Calvin Klein ad; breaking up with a living, breathing person with whom she will continue to “co-parent” two ferns — no single item in this list makes more or less sense than any other. The lawless spirit of 2020, distilled into a single ‘gram.