Instagram / Blog / Twitter / LinkedIn / YouTube
Kokie Childers, known as Kokeadile on Instagram, is a popular up-and-coming model known for her voluminous natural hair, striking blue eyes, and -most prominently- her dense freckles. According to Kokie, she initially didn't want to pursue modeling, but a shoot with photographer Hugh Morris entitled "LeFrek" kickstarted her modeling career. Since then, Kokie has accrued almost 40,000 followers on Instagram, and done multiple shoots and interviews, with the majority of the attention being paid to the dark freckles which cover the majority of her face.
Her online presence has been almost totally drama free, until approximately one month ago, when Kokie participated in a photoshoot with Health Magazine and the clothing store CHNGE, entitled "6 People With Skin Conditions Share the Most Hurtful Things Ever Said to Them". The concept of the photoshoot was to photograph and interview young people with skin conditions such as acne, birthmarks, and freckles in order to help de-stigmatize them. The photoshoot featured Kokie's freckles heavily. The photos were later posted to Instagram, with one image showing the model with a disparaging or aggressive quote written on their face (In Kokie's case, this was "How long did it take you to draw those on?") and the other a short, handwritten message about the struggles of growing up with a stigmatized condition.
Screenshots of the post in question:
There was just one problem... Kokie's freckles are completely fake.
It didn't take long for a large number of people who viewed the Health Magazine pictures to discover this, with many pointing out that Kokie's freckles seemed unnaturally uniform in size and color, while their positioning varied wildly from photo to photo. The comments on the Instagram post were quickly flooded with people questioning the veracity of Kokie's alleged "skin condition," and some asked why someone with no skin abnormalities would be asked to help figure-head such a movement (Kokie has had comments turned off on her Instagram for an indeterminate period of time, likely to avoid backlash from the debacle). One commenter even pointed out that in one of the pictures, there appeared to be a faded spot where the sticker adhesive had worn away some of Kokie's freckles, though this was disputed.
Many, including myself, found it extremely distasteful that someone would not only fake a skin condition for notoriety and "clout", but then go on to lie about the adversity they had faced due to their fake condition. For me, the last straw was when I realized that she was attempting to judge people for asking her how long it takes to draw on her freckles, when her freckles are, in fact, drawn on. Kokie's case is strongly reminiscent of Sarah McDaniel/ Krotchy, another Instagram model who also attempted to fake a genetic condition, in Sarah's case heterochromia, in order to bolster their modeling career. More similarities include the fact that both women seem to have invented a narrative of persecution in order to attract more attention, and the sad truth that many people seem to compare themselves unfavourably to Sarah and Kokie, often leaving comments saying that they would wish to be as "unique" or "beautiful", despite the fact that the personas of these women are largely built on lies.
The three photoshoots in which the falseness of Kokie's freckles can most clearly be seen are the aforementioned LeFrek and Health Magazine shoots, and in another set of photos for online retailer The Wrap Life, in which Kokie's freckles appear to be completely different in terms of positioning and color. In the first image, Kokie's freckles appear very light in color, whereas in the last photo they are much darker. They also appear to be drawn on much more densely in the Health Magazine photo, and in all three photos there is a significant difference in the placement of freckles on the forehead, neck, chin, between the eyebrows, and on her left eyelid.
It's also worth noting that previously to this, Kokie appears to have been attempting to pass of her blue/grey contacts as being her natural eye color. Though on her website her eye colour is currently listed as "brown/ grey contacts", there are several interviews in which Kokie's lighter eye colour seems to be referred to as natural, including her interviews with The Cut, and with c-heads magazine, (though the title which mentioned her blue eyes was later changed, the claim was still visible in the website's url), making it seem likely that Kokie herself had asserted that she was not wearing contacts. This is also supported by the fact that she wore the color-contacts to all her modeling gigs, which she would not her done had she been open about the natural color. It is possible that this lying may also have been why she was dropped from her modeling agency, Vessel Models, although the agency also appears to have gone dark since she was attributed to them in the c-heads interview last May, so that may not be the case.
More In-Depth Analysis
Instagram model fakes having a skin condition so she can be special and complain about people making fun of her, despite the fact that if she wanted people to stop making comments, all she'd need is a makeup wipe.