|A ghostwriter of an Instagram star has come out that made noise online /Photo by Antonio Guillem via 123rf|
It’s easy to be invisible on the internet. There are unlimited ways in which you can be faceless on it—make a new account, comment from it, or go incognito and follow a bunch of people for content without having them detect you through a private account. It’s the easiest thing now to go online and pose as somebody else, or be as vitriolic as you can without any worry for a pushback on your person.
A particular brand of invisible is emerging, though, and it’s part of the well-oiled wheels that drive the social media popularity of the famous and infamous Instagram influencers.
But, haven’t we known for a while now that at some point, anyone’s post on the internet could very well be someone else’s? It’s a social media crime almost as old as social media itself where we regurgitate a lot of the stuff we see in other platforms and post in other ones we wish had that same stuff.
Except it seems that these little things, like everything else on the internet, have been blown way out of proportion and even way out of sight.
This curious piece of news surfaced after Natalie Beach, famous Instagram star Caroline Calloway’s ghostwriter, unleashed a big ethical conundrum on the unseen forces we should be thanking for each heart-worthy post on Instagram and how, sometimes, the influencer is just an influencer.
In a tell-all essay she released on The Cut, a site for women who want to view the latest fashion trends and read provocative takes on issues that matter, from politics to relationships, Beach spoke up about all she had been through with the Instagram personality, her former friend and confidant. She talked about their early friendship, the process of her dissolution right in front of Calloway’s eyes, and her eventual decision to leave this chapter of her life behind.
Good thing, too, because she’s experienced a lot of things that she would rather not experience. Beach described Adderall-filled writing sessions and a plethora of bad decisions that she admitted to making in hopes of getting in good graces with the popular girl. From here on out, it’s a complicated experience for anyone who might be watching. Some people, after having read Beach’s long and heartbreaking narrative, may just say she should have just gotten out of the pit while she had the chance.
Others understood where she came from in terms of the insecurities that she possessed, brought to light more and more whenever she spent precious time with the famous influencer. The essay even went to the really dark places Beach visited while working for Calloway on her book, finding out that Calloway’s fanbase was bought off, and even watching her rationalize her toxic behavior by saying, “Women spend too much time apologizing for promoting their work.” Calloway was referring to social media.
One of the people who agreed with Beach’s decisions to constantly be in Calloway’s orbit no matter how toxic she became was NBC News writer Megan Angelo, author of “Followers,” who sympathized with Beach in large part because she is intimately familiar with the high one can get “basking in the nearness of someone confident.”
|Natalie Beach and Caroline Calloway's behind the Instagram friendship has come to an end /Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom via 123rf|
With the incredibly lengthy and personal essay Beach released in The Cut about her tumultuous friendship-slash-partnership with Calloway, it can be assumed that surely, the other party may just be a little upset over what happened and what Beach had revealed. For some people, that could be true, but Calloway told BuzzFeed News, a website bringing breaking news, vital journalism, and entertainment and lifestyle news: “She suffered all of the consequences of being the best friend of an addict and never got to know the woman that recovery made me into. And so I think her perception of me at that time is very valid, especially in her characterization of me as a toxic person, because I was.”
It’s good that she at least acknowledged that, but more than the Beach debacle, Calloway has found herself thrust headfirst into too many scandals to name that she even made money off of by making light of them on top of the money she makes now with her art.
She told BuzzFeed News that she turned into art and that it helped her deal with her problems—her addiction, her current living situation, and her father’s death. Her art, though, which she said she is proud of, have been called out as well, with one Twitter user stating that it looked exactly like a rip-off of Henri Matisse’s.
Her approach today, with all the backlash, is to just continue to live life without any fear of non-popularity. Calloway admitted she bought some followers back then, which reflected the insecurity that she had before she became big on Instagram, but she talked about it now if only so she could explain that she wasn’t that person anymore.
People grow, after all, why should Calloway not be the same?
Writer Stephanie McNeal described Calloway as someone who “no longer cares about being liked,” which might sound like someone would say after a Fyre Fest-esque creativity workshop that didn’t turn out to be the one promised. True or not, it’s a step in the right direction, at least, and for the followers she has left, she said that she was able to build them “strategically, tapping into content and a writing style that resonates with her audience.”