Pretty celebrity biker turns out to be a 50-year-old troll

Updated Mar 23, 2021 | Same topic: Highlights of the Week

There are plenty of catfishes in the sea.

Not all that glitters is gold. An adage that holds especially true in the digital age, where practically anything and anyone can be altered to suit a particular reality.

Japanese girl with motorcycle

Admit it, even you would be drawn to this picture 

Case in point: a young female posts pictures regularly over Twitter that would make hearts flutter, each one eagerly waiting for the next update. It’s all par for the course when a social media star bursts onto the scene, catching everyone’s attention with flowing hair, smooth skin, and a cute face while exhibiting a passion for motorcycles.

Except for a single detail. The subject is a long-haired bike enthusiast all right, but as for everything else, forget it. Twitter user @azusagakuyuki managed to maintain the illusion of a winsome Japanese girl to 19,000 followers, until being outed very recently as a 50-year-old man.  

Japanese celebrity on Twitter

She looks the part of a typical Japanese young girl just enjoying her bike

How did he do it? The man who goes only by the name Zonggu revealed that the secret was in using image-altering tech such as FaceApp, coupled with additional retouching in Photoshop. “First I just tried, then it happened to turn out to be fairly pretty,” he says, adding that he got carried away by the number of ‘Likes’ he received, increasing from less than 10 to a thousand with each enhancement.  

Working in Zonggu’s favor was the fact that he already had a flowing mane to begin with, made a little more feminine with a bit of styling. As the followers multiplied, some clues to his identity began to slip through the cracks. One instance showed a different face reflected on the side mirror of his motorbike, while another displayed an improbably hairy forearm. 

Identity revealed

With the real identity exposed, the cat(fish) is out of the bag

With public suspicion mounting, the Japanese TV show Getsuyou Kara Yofukashi (Sitting Up Late From Monday) finally managed to track him down. As the man behind the woman was unmasked and presented to the world in full unfiltered glory, there was hardly any backlash. In fact, the online reaction has been mostly positive.

“I watched the TV show and (have) become your fan!”, gushed one. “You have superb magic skills!!” exclaimed another.

But what was Zonggu’s motive in the first place? It might sound sexist, but he believed that people would pay more attention to his posts if they were accompanied by a young, pretty face. “No one will read what a normal middle-aged man, taking care of his motorcycle and taking pictures outside, posts on his account,” he explained.   

That’s a thought worth pondering for today’s social media generation.

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Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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