Who is Caroline Calloway? The Cambridge grad Instascammer who fooled the world
Also known as ‘one-woman Fyre Fest’
Not a day goes by when Caroline Calloway's name isn't involved in some kind of influencer controversy. First it was the doomed book deal, then it was the failed $165 mason-jar tour across the world and now it turns out she had a ghost writer this whole time with a scathing story to tell. But who is Caroline Calloway and why does everyone keep talking about her?
Who is Caroline Calloway?
Caroline Gotschall Calloway is a 27-year-old American Instagram influencer who lives in New York. She studied History of Art at NYU before she went to study the same subject at Cambridge from 2013-2016.
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These are some self portraits I took in my childhood bedroom last time I was home. There wasn’t so much unassembled furniture on my bed, but otherwise it looked pretty much the same growing up. Art supplies. British flag. Chaotic good. Books on fairies, princesses, magic. I even had a framed photo of the Winterhalter portrait of Austrian Empress, Sisi, who was my “favorite aristocrat” growing up so yeah. I’ve always been this way. My second favorite was Princess Diana, which is why I have her beanie baby on my desk. I was a basic art history bitch even then since I had a framed reproduction of Kimt’s kiss. I stared out these windows and thought about the future a lot.
The famous $500,000 book deal
Her popular Instagram account full of earnest posts about her life as an American in the UK helped her secure a major book deal worth $500,000 in 2015. The debut memoir was to be called "AND WE WERE LIKE" about "one American girl's experience at Cambridge University, complete with never-before-told stories of tumultuous romances, glamorous European balls, near academic failure, and the ups and downs of charting a path toward adulthood, expanding on her Instagram memoir."
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What's your favorite adventure story? I bet you a hundred books (pun intended) that it begins in what your English professor would call The Ordinary World. Basically, that's the hero's hometown—a place so normative and repressing that high-voltage fun is down right unheard of. Harry Potter? Privet Drive. The Hunger Games? District Twelve. Lord of the Rings? Actually. Know what? I'm no longer sure I can make LOTR jokes without also making SWEEPING IGNORANT ERRORS. And our story? Our Ordinary World is Cambridge. The place where Newton discovered gravity, parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed, and a certain American blogger struggles daily to balance writing a book, living in wonder, and failing out of school one Instagram post at a time! Cambridge! Cambridge, I say! But seriously. That our story begins here is a big narrative deal. This is like if the Harry Potter series BEGAN at Hogwarts. Which, by the way, is the best fucking analogy I HAVE. EVER. MADE. *drops mike, Tebows, screams VICTORY Viking-Quest-style* Super sorry, analogy fans! It's all downhill from here. For everyone else—the best friends who follow for pretty photos, cerebral humor, and my quirky knack for making sad stories upbeat—rejoice! Our story begins in an Ordinary World that is anything but. Meaning that from this point forward things will only get *even more* magical. That is, of course, until the meetings and the drugs and The Innermost Cave, and then things get abruptly worse. But I won't spoil the specifics. Let's start with a certain Thursday. In October. In extraordinary Cambridge. To Be Continued…
However two years later the book was cancelled and she owed her published $100,000. Caroline told Man Repeller: “My choices were: Write a book that wasn’t really about me — that was just about boys — and get lots of money, or back out of the contract and owe lots of money.”
The mason-jar tour
In December 2018, Caroline said she'd be hosting a creativity tour in the US and the UK. Tickets were being sold for $165 for a four-hour seminar. Things included in the ticket price were "orchid crowns", care packages which were meant to include handwritten letters from Caroline, mini gardens in mason jars, oat milk and exclusively designed tote bags, as well as crystals. Oh and a salad lunch would also be provided.
But then people started catching on "the scam" and an elaborate Twitter thread written by journalist Kayleigh Donaldson went viral. When it was found that Caroline didn't even have the venues booked for her tour dates and people were disappointed with the experience, the rest of the tour was cancelled.
That Instagram influencer I occasionally check in on because she's The Worst is now charging $165 for a 4 hour "seminar" on how to be yourself. pic.twitter.com/zLvBFn9dPI
— Kayleigh Donaldson (@Ceilidhann) December 20, 2018
The Cut article that shook the internet
Natalie Beach. Caroline's ex-best friend wrote a viral essay on The Cut called "I was Caroline Calloway", which revealed everything about their toxic friendship.
Who is Natalie Beach?
Natalie Beach is Caroline Calloway's former ghostwriter. She's a 27-year-old writer and book critic based in LA.
Natalie and Caroline met seven years ago when they both attended an NYU writing class together. Natalie became friends with Caroline and was her ghostwriter up until 2016.
Not only did Natalie help Caroline write her Instagram posts, but she also helped her write the proposal for Caroline's failed $500,000 memoir.
She has also accused Caroline of buying tens of thousands of followers in the beginning stages of her influencer career.