UPDATED: Caroline Calloway Is Responding To ‘The Cut’ Essay | Betches

Before I even got a chance to post a painstaking piece in which I attempted to recap the latest Caroline Calloway drama, spurred by a recent essay in The Cut, I made the mistake of checking Instagram, and I saw that Caroline had uploaded what I assume to be the first of many rebuttals to Natalie Beach’s essay about their friendship (among other topics). To provide a brief recap: Caroline Calloway is an Instagram influencer (of what variety, I’m not entirely sure—travel? Writing? Both?). Natalie and Caroline were friends, Caroline became big on Instagram, and they collaborated on her Instagram captions, and later, on her memoir. This all blew up when Natalie wrote an essay for The Cut about what it was like working and living in Caroline’s shadow. At first, Caroline was directing her followers to her post and maintaining something of a middle ground. As time (read: all of about 12 hours) went on, she put increasingly more distance between herself and the piece. Now, she’s going full nuclear.

In an Instagram post, Caroline uploaded the photo that served as the article’s main image, and stated her intentions to basically eviscerate Natalie’s essay point by point.

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Alright, guys. I just got out of therapy. I just read Natalie’s article. I feel stronger than I’ve ever been. And I’m ready to get to fucking WORK. Seven years ago I used Instagram to build a world on Instagram and a story about who I am. Now I’m going to use this same app to raze those things to the motherfucking ground—post by post. And build something better in their place. Something true. First order of business: Getting very fucking clear about which captions I had help with and which captions I wrote myself. It’s normal for writers to have editors and for artists to have friends who collaborate closely on projects and shape each other’s style. I refused to shamed for this. And because here’s the thing: Natalie didn’t write my captions FOR me. Never. Not once. We wrote them TOGETHER. And my best captions—the captions about Cambridge—I wrote BY MYSELF after our friendship had shaped me and helped me find my voice. Natalie is inextricable from my writing not because she is the mastermind behind my sentences but because my love for her and HER love of words shaped me into the writer that I am. Ok! Let’s get to it! This is going to be a tedious amount of posts back-to-back, but it needs to be done.

A post shared by Caroline Calloway (@carolinecalloway) on

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She writes, “Alright, guys. I just got out of therapy. I just read Natalie’s article. I feel stronger than I’ve ever been. And I’m ready to get to fucking WORK. Seven years ago I used Instagram to build a world on Instagram and a story about who I am. Now I’m going to use this same app to raze those things to the motherfucking ground—post by post. And build something better in their place. Something true. First order of business: Getting very fucking clear about which captions I had help with and which captions I wrote myself. It’s normal for writers to have editors and for artists to have friends who collaborate closely on projects and shape each other’s style. I refused to shamed for this. And because here’s the thing: Natalie didn’t write my captions FOR me. Never. Not once. We wrote them TOGETHER. And my best captions—the captions about Cambridge—I wrote BY MYSELF after our friendship had shaped me and helped me find my voice. Natalie is inextricable from my writing not because she is the mastermind behind my sentences but because my love for her and HER love of words shaped me into the writer that I am. Ok! Let’s get to it! This is going to be a tedious amount of posts back-to-back, but it needs to be done.”

Translation: Buckle the f*ck up, because sh*t is about to get real.

Look, it’s normal for people to have help writing their captions. We all do it, right? We turn to our friends and ask, “what should my caption be?” But what happens when your friend asks you for input on her caption, but she’s getting paid to post content and you’re not? Right: this situation we’re in now.

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I lied about the Yale plates because I was a liar at age twenty. And twenty-one. I slowed down at twenty-five because in order to quit Adderall I had to quit lying to myself about how addicted I was. But I didn’t lie to Natalie about the rainbow macarons and the Explore page. Nor did I lie to her about buying followers when I began my brand five years ago. I’ll walk you through that in my response piece—wherever it is published. I think my first choice would be selling a twin essay back to @thecut / @nymag to be bookends with Natalie’s. But I’m open to other options if any editors want to reach out to my manager @amkrasner . His email is in my bio. But in the meantime, I want to begin here. Instagram in 2012. The app was different and so was my account. All of these photos have been deleted because I didn’t feel that they “fit” with the vibe of “psychotic scammer” I was trying to put into the world. KIDDING! I was trying to be taken seriously as a writer and I thought these frivolous one-liner jokes with Pinterest aesthetics didn’t serve my larger purpose of telling stories online. So this is where my account really begins. But we can go back to those posts because this online archeological dog site has been destroyed. So let me show you the next best thing.

A post shared by Caroline Calloway (@carolinecalloway) on

“I lied about the Yale plates because I was a liar at age twenty. And twenty-one. I slowed down at twenty-five because in order to quit Adderall I had to quit lying to myself about how addicted I was. But I didn’t lie to Natalie about the rainbow macarons and the Explore page. Nor did I lie to her about buying followers when I began my brand five years ago. I’ll walk you through that in my response piece—wherever it is published. I think my first choice would be selling a twin essay back to @thecut / @nymag to be bookends with Natalie’s. But I’m open to other options if any editors want to reach out to my manager @amkrasner . His email is in my bio. But in the meantime, I want to begin here. Instagram in 2012. The app was different and so was my account. All of these photos have been deleted because I didn’t feel that they “fit” with the vibe of “psychotic scammer” I was trying to put into the world. KIDDING! I was trying to be taken seriously as a writer and I thought these frivolous one-liner jokes with Pinterest aesthetics didn’t serve my larger purpose of telling stories online. So this is where my account really begins. But we can go back to those posts because this online archeological dog site has been destroyed. So let me show you the next best thing.”

Caroline gives us an answer to what is perhaps the most perplexing mystery of this whole saga: what happened to the Yale plates? Caroline doesn’t say, but we can surmise that she got rid of them, and then lied about it. Then, she plugs herself, basically, and frankly, I’m considering answering the call.

She also talks about how Instagram and her account have evolved since 2012, and she no longer has her old photos on her feed because they don’t fit her aesthetic anymore. Which brings us to her next post…

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“Incredibly, what’s left of my Instagram account begins with one post from the Met (my actual first post ever) and then! The trip to London that Natalie talked about in her essay. It’s a relief to give these captions they deserve. All of these are: By Natalie Beach and Caroline Calloway”.

“By Natalie Beach and Caroline Calloway Oh? And hey @businessinsider ? Could you stop using this photo of me twirling in the heart-shaped sunglasses as the cover photo of every fucking story you write about me. I think it’s really cringe, too, and imagine if someone published a story about you today AND THEN HEADLINED IT WITH YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING PHOTO FROM YOUR INSTAGRAM ~~~~SIX YEARS~~~~ AGO? No one deserves that.” 

Yeesh, as someone who went through my own Instagram posts a few days ago, I can agree with this sentiment. The filters! The contrast! It was all so horrid back then. I would probably spiral too if my cringeworthy 2012 bangs made national news.

Caroline is now uploading a series of screenshots of her own grid, crediting both herself and Natalie for the captions (or giving Natalie full credit where applicable). I’m not going to embed all of the posts, because it’s repetitive and you’ll get the point pretty quickly, so here is one example:

“By Natalie Beach and Caroline Calloway

Pay special attention to the “How To Celebrate Fourth of July” caption. That one was more Natalie than me. And it is exceptionally funny.”

I’ll continue to update if Caroline posts a more substantial response, but my take is this: yes, it’s sort of about the captions, because that is what Caroline built her loyal following off of. But it’s way more than that at this point: it’s about the overall picture that Natalie paints in her essay in The Cut. By zeroing in on the captions, this rebuttal is kind of missing the point. I’m eager to see what response Caroline pens in the outlet of her choosing, but for now I get the picture: Caroline took the pictures, and she and Natalie worked on the captions. And again, I’ve got to ask: why is such an ordinary practice such a massive deal?

The Yale plates have made an appearance. Someone please reach out to the plates for comment.

More to come…

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