From Lipstick-gate to Mascara-gate, the TikTok beauty community is no stranger to scandal. And over the past few days, it seems we are on the brink of another so-called ‘gate’— Browgate (and this time, it has nothing to do with Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez).
The drama kicked off after a TikTok user, @resilient.gg (who goes by Resilient online), posted a video explaining how she was featured in a TikTok by beauty influencer @slaybyjess without consent. The video in question was a brow tutorial where Jess used products by Benefit Cosmetics. The brand later reposted her video on the official TikTok and Instagram pages.
“I think I know why people struggle so much with their brows. It’s because you don’t have a guide. That’s when you have people that have brows like this that are way too far apart,” Jess says as she points to an old photo of Resilient.
Not only is using a stranger’s photo to demonstrate what not to do problematic, but the situation becomes even more concerning when Resilient reveals that she doesn’t recall sharing the photo online. After coming across Benefit’s repost on TikTok, she took to the platform, admitting she was the person in the picture.
“Try to imagine the shock and confusion that I just went through… Like I am pretty sure I am breaking out into hives because of how stressed and freaked out I am,” she begins. “My sister is on her way home, and she sends me a video from Benefit Cosmetics that pops up on her For You Page.”
Resilient then shared a screen recording of Jess’ video before asking her viewers, “Why the f—k are they using an old photo of me? And where the f—k did they get this old photo of me? This is an old photo of me from 2019…”
She says she doesn’t understand how Jess could have found this photo, given that she is inactive on Facebook and Instagram. Resilient also explains why her eyebrows were “so far apart,” sharing that “she used to pick at [her] skin and pull [her] hair out” because of anxiety.
While Resilient initially claimed that she had never shared the photo online, comments suggest that she actually had posted the picture years ago.
“She commented on her last video that it’s [the photo] from a social media account she deleted four years ago,” one TikTok user wrote. Resilient liked this comment, indicating that this was indeed the case.
Nevertheless, TikTok users rallied around Resilient, urging Jess and Benefit Cosmetics to delete the video. Viewers also believed that the original video was an advertisement, and many were unimpressed with the company for employing “bullying tactics” to promote a product. Among these comments, viewers suggested that Resilient may have grounds for taking legal action.
Jess soon addressed the situation on her TikTok and apologised to Resilient for using her picture.
“After I saw her video last night, I immediately responded to her, apologised, and immediately deleted my video and asked Benefit to delete the video,” Jess begins. “I also wanted to apologise to you [Resilient] directly… I can understand that seeing an image of you that you never intended to be online can be hurtful and distressing… It was wrong of me to use that picture without your consent.”
She also clarifies how she found the photo and explains that the video was not an official collaboration with Benefit.
“I got the picture from Google, how it was on Google, that I don’t know,” she says. “This video was actually not an ad, it was just a video that I made, and I happened to use the Benefit products, and Benefit reposted it.”
Since Jess shared her apology, Benefit Cosmetics appears to have removed the video from their official accounts.
Over the past few days, viewers have also attempted to help Resilient determine where the picture came from on Google. Through this, Resilient discovered her photo was also on several international websites.
“Last night, I reverse image searched myself, and I found myself on not only Albanian but Spanish-speaking websites, German-speaking websites, Ukranian… you name it,” she explains in a TikTok video. “They all kind of look like spam… they’re all using my picture, but it seems to me that they’re all using the same women in the same order.”
While we can’t exactly be sure where our content ends up once it enters the social media abyss, if Resilient’s situation teaches us anything, we should not use pictures of others at the expense of their well-being to gain views and likes.