Makeup influencer Mikayla Nogueira is facing public backlash once again after followers found a clip of her speaking without her trademark self-described “redneck accent.”
With 14.6 million followers, Nogueira’s accent, a raspy drawl reminiscent of Ben Affleck in the Dunkin’ drive-thru, has long been one of her most identifiable traits since she started posting three years ago.
Users unearthed a video of Nogueira while she was majoring in communications at Rhode Island’s Bryant College, talking in what some fans argued was a “customer service voice.” The video is not viewable on the school’s Instagram. “I actually work here at the information center, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing me around,” she says in a neutral East Coast accent.
The reshared video, posted at the end of February, has racked up 11 million views as of Wednesday and was seen by some fans as an example of her being untrustworthy. “I KNEW it,” one wrote. “Mikayla’s Lies Part. Infinity,” another said.
Others have had sympathy for the influencer, relating to having to tone down their accents in professional settings. “We need to start seeing these influencers as entertainers, almost actresses and actors because at this point with their millions of followers this has become their job,” TikToker Rachel Leigh said.
Nogueira, who is from rural Massachusetts, has addressed her thick accent in the past. In a TikTok livestream from the start of March, Nogueira said she has been mocked for her voice for her “entire life.” “It’s not a fucking Boston accent, I’ve already said that,” she says. “It’s a fucking redneck accent from where I’m from.”
Nogueira did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.
Her accent is the latest in a slew of controversies for the 22-year-old. At the start of the year, the beauty influencer was called out for possibly using fake eyelashes to promote a mascara on TikTok.
Soon after, followers accused Nogueira of using TikTok’s built-in skin smoothing filter during a paid review of a YSL foundation. “How can I see if it works if I can’t even see her pores to begin with?!?!? Her nostrils were gone,” one wrote on Reddit. “That is why I just don't believe most ‘reviews’ anywhere,” another said.
The alleged filter also caused fans to question the validity of her other reviews. Under a paid advertisement for a different foundation in January, fans shared their suspicions about her positive takeaways. “Is this real or another trick like the lashes,” one said. “I bought this product based off your review and it definitely DOES NOT offer that much coverage,” another wrote.
Earlier this month, fans also noticed that she seemed to change her review of an eyebrow gel. At the beginning of the month, Nogueira posted a video titled “Products I Absolutely Regret Buying.” She starts her makeup routine with Got2b’s eyebrow gel, and says that she likes the product but criticizes some aspects of it. “It’s actually a little hard to get it off,” she says in the video.
Users pointed out that she had done a paid review for the same product on Sept. 22, 2022, in which she spoke glowingly about it. “in my opinion… best my brows have ever looked. Period,” she captioned her initial sponsored post.
Confusion ensued in the comments. “I cant tell if ur being sarcastic or not,” one wrote to the creator. “Why did you said you LOVE the brow glue at the paid review?” another said.
Noguiera addressed some of the skepticism in her replies. “I didn’t say I loved it!” Nogueira wrote in response to one fan’s confusion. “It works really well like I said here, but I just don’t need that much hold on my brows!”
As criticisms pile up against Nogueria, TikTok users have pointed out influencer Bretman Rock’s recent revealing comments in an interview with Them that “white people ruined the beauty community.”
Many fans compared Rock’s words to the ongoing scrutiny around Nogueira’s channel. “Mikayla girl😩 hes talking to you,” one said. But Rock denied that.
“Bretman was not referencing Mikayla and he has no comments to contribute regarding her career,” a representative told BuzzFeed News.
Some fans have continued to defend the influencer’s actions. “all of yous would do the same thing its money bro,” one user wrote. “id do it too for money,” another said.