Follow Caroline Calloway?
From The Cut:
When I was a sophomore in college, I took a creative-nonfiction workshop and met a girl who was everything I wasn’t. The point of the class was to learn to write your own story, but from the moment we met, I focused instead on helping her tell her own, first in notes after workshop, then later editing her Instagram captions and co-writing a book proposal she sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It seems obvious now, the way the story would end, but when I first met Caroline Calloway, all I saw was the beginning of something extraordinary.
Today Caroline is a 27-year-old Instagram influencer with almost 800,000 followers. A self-described “writer, art historian, and teacher,” she first became internet famous for diaristic captions chronicling her misadventures as an American undergrad at Cambridge University and was later known for the mysterious dissolution of her big book deal. After that, Caroline fell out of the public eye for a year but returned this past January on a tour to promote her “Creativity Workshop,” which was billed as a tutorial to “architect a life that feels really full and genuine and rich and beautiful” but ended up being compared to a one-woman Fyre Fest. She charged participants $165 a head and sold the tickets before booking venues, made promises she couldn’t deliver on (orchid crowns, “cooked” salad), and, true to form, posted the whole fiasco in real time. It seemed like the entire internet saw a pallet of 1,200 Mason jars delivered to her studio apartment and her pleas for ticket buyers in Philadelphia to just take the train to New York. She became a symbol of, as journalist Kayleigh Donaldson put it, “The Empty Mason Jar of the Influencer Economy,” which prompted Caroline to begin selling T-shirts that read “Stop Hate Following Me, Kayleigh.”
More recently, her Instagram has been filled with emotional posts about this very article, which she knew was coming.
Image by Lynn Friedman via Flickr (cc)