Last week the saga of the Instagram Influencer Caroline Calloway exploded in a big way thanks to a wonderfully-written essay by her friend Natalie Beach. Note that I am not calling Natalie her ghostwriter because she categorically states in her Insta feed that she ‘co-wrote’ those captions with her.
If you have no clue what I am talking about here, its best to hop over to these links and get up to speed on the whole thing. A brief summary: Instagram Influencer Caroline Calloway, who amassed close to 800k followers and became internet-famous for documenting her days at Cambridge University in the form of mini-memoirs, turned out to have a friend i.e. Natalie Beach, who helped her write them. Oh, Natalie also wrote her book proposal for the book that a publisher had bought for an advance of $375,000. Oh, also, Caroline bought followers to boost her profile. And one last thing – she did not turn in the book as she was on Adderall and going through a tough phase, and had to return the advance. Oh, and before I forget, she scheduled a series of ‘creativity workshops’ and had to cancel/refund them because she hadn’t planned them at all.
The whole epic tale of friendship unfolds in a multitude of layers and class differences. Natalie, after the essay appeared on The Cut, went from 500-odd followers to more than 10k followers. Caroline, not one to be left behind, grew her Instagram many-fold also. Natalie gave an interview to the NYT a few days later, and admitted that her “inbox is quite full right now”, and she had warned Caroline that she was writing the essay and also about its impending publication. Apparently, Caroline’s entire fan base had been anticipating the publication of the essay and Caroline herself posted daily in nail-biting tension.
I followed Caroline Calloway so you don’t have to! And this is what I have learned over the last few days. (see how I keep learning every day of my life and don’t just stop at the ABCD I learned in my school)
- She posts as many stories as Instagram will allow in the 24-hour period
- The mini-essays continue even now after the explosion of her (mis)deeds
- She is clearly suffering an extreme case of narcissism, which I as an armchair shrink have every authority to declare
- She’s currently running a series of screenshots of her old posts
- Her selfies with the hand below her chin is her signature selfie shot
- She has archived a lot of those old posts that made her famous in the first place
- Screenshots of chats (that I would deem private) are commonplace on her feed
- Here’s the zinger – she posted an NSFW pic on Insta the day after her father died.
My Instagram showcases my inept photography skills. But I have now seen the error of my ways and I am very inspired by Caroline Calloway and will henceforth compose entire mini-essays to accompany the photos I post on Instagram. Lit mags the world over may now rejoice. My submissions and inept cover letters will no longer plague the inboxes of editors all over the world. Instead they’ll be rolling down my Insta feed, gaining followers while you regular folk rot in the very hell-depths of social media.
Jokes apart, its my belief this whole thing is a very well-crafted, well-orchestrated saga designed to fulfill the dreams of both girls. They both appreciate each other’s writing a lot, and let slip only a word or two of criticism in between.
That’s my thoughts anyway, though I hope I’m proved wrong.
Have you been following the scandal? What are your thoughts on the whole saga?