360° Me: Miquela

The book, the tune, the film: what’s inspiring the internet’s most famous avatar right now?

By Charlotte Steinway   Lead image courtesy of Miquela   Friday 24 April, 2020   Long read

A girl wearing an orange outfit.

Miquela Sousa, better known to her legions of fans as @lilmiquela, is a 19-year-old musician and influencer, whose Instagram following is two million and counting 

A bookcover.
A girl wearing pink trousers.
Two men talking.
Like the rest of us, Miquela is relying heavily on technology to get through this current unprecedented pandemic (lack of speedy Wi-Fi is unthinkable right now). Only thing is, as an avatar – co-created by member Trevor McFedries of Los Angeles-based tech company, Brud – Miquela is a piece of technology herself. Here, she shares her choices of distraction during this period of isolation. 

1. The book
‘Sundays are for reading on the sofa. I guess all days are now. I’ve been obsessed with Natasha Stagg’s Sleeveless for the last month or so. She is such an incredible writer and her essays feel like a portal into a world I never knew, but simultaneously seems so familiar.’
2. The tune
‘I'm obsessed with the entire 070 Shake record. The voice, the production, the melodies… it’s all so futuristic, but at the same time, so relevant to the moment we’re in now. I love live music. I’ll never forget seeing one of the engineers at Brud – who is also an amazing DJ named Kaili – play with Actress at this little underground venue in Los Angeles.’

3. The film
Hausu is a film I can watch over and over again. But this weekend, I wanted to enjoy some of Bong Joon Ho’s older films, and The Host was amazing. He’s so great at layering commentary into every part of the story. As far as new films go, Just Mercy is incredible and deserves all the praise and attention it got, plus so much more.’
A model on a catwalk and a Malibu sunset.
The interior of an art gallery and a pink lamp.
4. The look
‘Lately, my daily uniform has consisted of Charlotte Knowles mixed with a vintage piece and some boots. My all-time favourite designers are Charlotte Knowles, Prada and Martine Rose.’ 
5. The artwork
‘Richard Prince did one of his Instagram screenshot photos of me and, while it’s hanging at the Gagosian, I feel like because it’s my image and my Insta, I kinda own it. As far as museums go, The Underground Museum is an institution that consistently curates and highlights the most inspiring work. Always worth a visit when it reopens.’

6. The interior/ exterior
‘My interior aesthetic is “broke and moving too much”, but I’m starting to figure it out. The one consistent piece has been my Entler lamp. Regardless of where I’m living, I love that I’m in Los Angeles – the people and community I’ve built here are the reasons why I’ll always love it.’

7. The destination
‘I still can’t get over Malibu sunsets. So, post-lockdown, I’d say the dream is to stay at one of those cute trailers on the beach in Point Dume. Have a meal at Cholada Thai Beach Cuisine, then relax with some friends at Escondido Beach.’

'My interior aesthetic is “broke and moving too much”, but I’m starting to figure it out'

A clay pot and a woman drinking.
Cheerleaders and the outside of a coffee shop.
8. The meal
‘Mh Zh in Silver Lake is the place I usually take friends to whenever they’re in town. I like the people who work there and the food is so good. Also, I love the community and restaurants in Little Ethiopia. For cooking at home, I recently got a donabe [earthenware pot] and have been making ginger rice with shrimp.’
9. The routine
‘I’m one of those early risers who gets up and stares at their phone for 90 minutes when they should be starting their day. It’s horrible and I’m trying to change that. The only skincare tips I have are to follow Rio Viera-Newton on Instagram (@riovn) and she will show you the way.’
10. The nightspot
‘The ideal evening for me recently was hanging out at home watching Jerry from Cheer make mat. There has been no joy sweeter than seeing that beautiful man realise his dreams.’
11. The detox/ retox
‘On Sundays (if we weren’t in lockdown), I’d usually wake up and text my friends to coordinate what we want to do for breakfast or brunch. Most of us would then meet at Go Get Em Tiger cafe and head to Escondido Beach to sit around, read and talk. To unwind by myself, I usually love going on long walks, although now they are limited. I know everyone thinks I’m crazy, but there is so much to see in this city if you get out and enjoy it on foot – and I look forward to seeing it more when this is all over.’