Yesterday, pop singer Miley Cyrus was called out for ripping off a Berkeley artist’s food imagery (Stephanie Sarley has been suggestively photographing fruits for years) in Instagram video promos for her forthcoming album. But that’s not all! Another of Cyrus’s Insta posts yesterday featured Miley licking a cake that looks identical to one designed by DC baker Becca Rea-Holloway, AKA the Sweet Feminist. The rainbow-sprinkled layer cake, which reads “Abortion Is Healthcare,” is being used to hype a collaboration campaign with Cyrus, her Happy Hippy Foundation, Marc Jacobs, and Planned Parenthood.
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@mileycyrus just announced a collaboration with @marcjacobs @plannedparenthood @happyhippiefdn using this image. It is a direct theft of my own original art work from May 2018, with no credit. It’s literally my exact handwriting, message, and concept. Swipe for comparison! Cake art is for everyone, but this is inexcusable.
Rea-Holloway doesn’t follow Cyrus on Instagram, but people quickly started tagging her in Cyrus’s image. “I was shocked,” Rea-Holloway says. “You can tell it’s mine because it’s one of my early cakes—the ‘e’ kind of hangs off the side.” Cyrus left a comment on both her and the Sweet Feminist’s posts:
“Hi, we saw the image online and didn’t realize it was yours. We will absolutely tag you for your work. This image is not on the Marc Jacobs x Planned Parenthood hoodie we made to raise money and awareness for Planned Parenthood which I know is also close to your heart. It is just on the post and not on the merchandise but we will absolutely tag you and give you the credit for your art. If you could please correct your post, as we’re going to make sure you have all the credit you deserve… thanks for sharing your art and inspiring us.”
But to Rea-Holloway, a sales and marketing manager at Baked & Wired who has been creating feminist-themed cakes since May 2018, that isn’t enough.
“I believe cake art is for everybody,” Rea-Holloway says. “Sometimes people share my images without giving me credit, but this is a different thing.” She’s in touch with Cyrus’s team to figure out a resolution. What would that look like to her?
“Compensation would be ideal,” she says. “But definitely public recognition.”