Social media vs reality? Japanese ‘biker chick’ turns out to be a 50-year-old ‘uncle’ using FaceApp

A Japanese man has come clean that he’d facetuned himself into a cute biker girl for his travel blog, but the reveal hasn’t deterred fans from supporting him.

The Twitter account “@azusagakuyuki” is what you’d expect a niche influencer to be. An attractive young woman posts photos of herself riding a bike to picturesque locations in Japan, tinkers with the vehicle and occasionally promotes an energy drink or some chocolates to subscribers.

But there is a catch. The person in the pictures is actually a 50-year-old man with long lush hair, who uses face-features manipulation tool FaceApp to alter images. The truth has been suspected for some time and got reinforced in mid-February, when the latest pic of a bike showed some suspicious face reflections in rear-view mirrors.

The gender-bender theory was confirmed this week by a Japanese entertainment program. The ‘Late Monday Show’ did an exposé on the ‘biker girl’ complete with a dramatic reveal of the man’s actual face as he took off the helmet, and comparisons of photos before and after the FaceApp filter was applied. He said he’d created the female persona because he wanted to be popular on social media and believed nobody would be interested in a 50-year-old ‘uncle.’

The big reveal appears to be a popularity boost, however. The account has gained several thousand new followers and many devoted fans say they were fine with the deception. “Some people have a negative opinion, but I will support you. Isn’t it okay to be an uncle?,” one commenter said in response to an apology tweet. “Please do your best without worrying about slander.”

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