Alissa Ashley just called out Milani Cosmetics after the brand blatantly disrespected all of the hard work she puts into her photo and video content. The beauty influencer may be known for how she beats a bomb face but she's also spent the last few years perfecting her camera skills. Nearly every photo on her Instagram page is a self-shot image. She also has an entire Instagram account dedicated to her photography. Unfortunately, Milani Cosmetics seemed to draw a little too much inspiration from her video style while promoting its new liquid bronzer.
Alissa Ashley performed a frustrated yet classy callout of the brand on Twitter and Milani Cosmetics delivered its own response.
Many believe the video style was simply the appropriate thing to do for a body glitter product.
"I feel like yes this is almost an exact replica of Alissa’s [video] but then again it’s body glow oil. What other attractive promo video[s] could they do?" one fan inquired. "There’s not [really] much else u can do for [these] type of products [and], especially to make it look as GOOD as Alissa did bc she [really] did THAT."
Alissa Ashley also confirmed that Milani Cosmetics apologized to her and offered to send her "something" for the ripoff.
"I love @alissa.ashley and [shame on] Milani if they copied but aren't these campaigns filmed months in advance?" a fan asked.
"If it was (filmed months in advance which usually the things that are are the more big campaigns whereas this one was filmed in house at the office based on the behind the scenes they had on their stories earlier) they wouldn't be messaging my team apologizing and asking if they can send me something right now. Unfortunately, I believe their head of marketing saw my content and decided to pitch it for what they should do as advertisement for the new product."
"Content" has value and when you use someone's digital content so exactly, you need to acknowledge that fact and make sure they are paid for said value.
This is true no matter who the content creator is but it's especially disturbing that the brand did do this to a black woman. We are not going to skip this fact.
Black women are way too underserved in this beauty community for brands to just take their work with no credit and no check.
From product availability (which is slowly but surely changing) to a lack of adequate representation in beauty ads to the lack of representation in the actual beauty industry workplaces — black women are underserved at multiple levels in this industry. Beyond beauty, black women are still severely underpaid in comparison to people of other races with Hispanic women getting paid even worse. The pay gap is very real and these brands perpetuate the financial disparity when they find ways to pull content from women of color without hiring or even acknowledging them.
In an era when those facts are laid out so plainly, it is beyond disrespectful for a brand to rip off a black woman's content. Rationalizing that "it's body glitter so that's the way you market it" is not OK when the shots, angles, and sequencing are so similar. The brand also ADMITS that it did not "accidentally" use her content due to having a similar product but did, in fact, rip it off because it was "inspired."
Every step of the way — from the marketing to the hiring to the product development — brands need to hold themselves accountable and ensure that everyone who is deserving gets a seat at the table and eats well.