The heartwarming outcome of the ‘ultimate catfish’ biker that duped the internet

When Yasuo Nakajima was exposed as the man behind a popular young female biker on Instagram, the fascinating tale didn't end there...

Yasuo Nakajima [image credit: Washington Post]

It is one of the more curious stories we have probably ever run on Visordown but several months after Yasuo Nakajima was revealed to be the 50-year old man behind the digitally enhanced female face of a popular Instagram channel, the tale has transcended from bizarre to heartwarming.

Back in March a television show in Japan investigated a mysterious and increasingly popular female biker named Soya, who had amassed a significant following on his/her Soya no Sohi social media channel showing impressive skills on a motorcycle and presenting himself as a fresh faced, young woman with the helmet off.

However, after some suspicions were raised about whether some digital editing was being used to enhance such a blemish-free appearance, the expose went further by revealing it was in fact Nakajima, a 50-year old Dad using the Face App to transform himself into this completely different image (though the lustrous hair is all his).

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What might be considered weird or creepy (this is the internet after all) initially though has become a somewhat unwittingly fascinating case study about the way we connect with social media influencers.

Indeed, while the sheer absurdity of the situation means Nakajima’s justification for the ruse was somewhat lost in the noise of the tabloid frenzy that followed, in a brilliant interview with The Washington Post he says he wanted to demonstrate how image - false or otherwise - is the only way to get noticed after amassing only six followers in six months as himself, even if his ‘catfish’ didn’t otherwise have sinister intentions.

Nakajima says the only thing different in his posting was that he had altered his image, adding that his look combined with the upbeat attitude he always had and his love for motorcycling shone through regardless

“The only thing I’m creating is, basically, my appearance. Everything else is me,” he said.

“When you’re young, you tend to be scolded or criticised by older people who say you should do this or you should do that. But at this age, there’s no one around to really scold me. I’m having the best time of my life.

“Motorcycles are like a family member for me. I love the freedom… When I travel, I am out for basically about two weeks to a month, and I don’t decide on a destination. I like to think, ‘I’m going to go west this time,’ or ‘I’m going to go north this time,’ and then just depart.”

Describing himself as a ‘straight ally’ of the LGBTQ community, Nakajima adds he has gained a fresh perspective on the ostentatious attention women receive from men that messaged him propositioning ‘Soya’

“When I compare how I feel when I started to tweet as a woman and now, I do feel that I’m gradually gravitating toward this persona … this fantasy world that I created,” Nakajima said. “When I see photos of what I tweeted, I feel like, ‘Oh. That’s me.’ ”

Honesty is the best policy as Nakajima’s popularity soars

Despite the dramatic uncovering of the truth, the exposure didn’t lead to the presumed intense level of trolling. In fact, the internet couldn’t help but be impressed by the flawlessness of his ruse and seemed to sympathise with his reasons for doing so.

As such, Nakajima - having returned to posting as himself - has seen his following soar in the months that followed, with people commenting on being drawn to his attitude and personality to the extent they like him more as himself.

He adds that he wants his efforts to help break down gender stereotypes, suggesting there is no reason ‘Soya’ couldn’t be a real woman with precisely the same skills he has.

“I want to live in a way that makes them [his children] think ‘Oh, Dad is cool’.

“In childhood, a lot of us were told, ‘As a boy, you should do this. As a girl, you should do this.’ And I really dislike that,” he said. “Unless you start, you’ll come to regret it. People will say, ‘I’ll do this once things settle down or once everything is in place.’ But by the time everything is in place, your life will end.”

We couldn’t agree more!

You can read the full article HERE  (and we encourage that you do, it is fascinating)