Brands big and small have resorted to the celebrity endorsement since time immemorial: You sacrifice a small amount of your product for the greater cause of the celebrity shoutout. You exchange your goods for advertising. This is what fuels the influencer and beauty guru economies.
So to promote Cravings by Chrissy Teigen, the celebrity curated and distributed promotional boxes that included the Cravings cookbook, Cravings cookware, a bottle of John Legend’s LVE rosé, and what look like some starter plants for lavender, basil, and rosemary. At least that's the box Kourtney Kardashian, among others, received and shared on Instagram yesterday.
Of course, the free box served its purpose. Once people started seeing them on celebrity Instagrams, they likely thought to themselves: "I want one!" However, some people, including people with the means to go out and buy those products, came to Chrissy Teigen with an "I want one!" routine.
So naturally, she went on her own Instagram story to clear a few things up. She started by saying that each box is a curated labour of love. She has just one person driving around Los Angeles, hand-delivering these packages. In other words, these boxes have value, and no one, not even her friends are entitled to one. In fact, friends should support each other's businesses, not demand free goods.
Teigen assured fans they will have a chance to win boxes through giveaways and that the lecture wasn't meant for them. "That was just meant for my friends that were literally like, 'mine hasn't gotten here yet!' Well, it's because I didn't send it to you!" In her next story, she clarified that these friends she referenced are rich. Like, rich enough to be in Chrissy-Teigen's-social-circle and within-the-L.A.-zipcodes-these-boxes-are-being-sent-to rich.
Then Chrissy took it a bit further and questioned where her friends get such a sense of entitlement from: "Maybe that comes from someone putting in your head that we're just a content farm with endless money that got so big so fast." Sadly, she says, that's never been the case.
Tabloids are reading into who that "someone" might've been. Certainly, the latest someone to accuse Teigen was Alison Roman, Bon Appetit alum and New York Times Cooking author of recipes like "The Stew" and "Shallot Pasta." But as any woman of colour pursuing her coin will tell you, that "someone" accusing her of selling out can be just about anyone.