Actually, Caroline Calloway’s ex-friend Natalie Beach sucks just as much!
It takes two to create a toxic friendship
Caroline Calloway clearly sucks. She's the Instascammer who exploded on the internet yesterday, famous for lying to people about her "perfect" life as an Instagram influencer, taking way too much on without any tangible experience and selling mason jars full of grass on a $165 creativity tour. Don't even get me started on the Matisse remakes she calls "original art" and sells for $220.
But do you know who's just as bad? The person who writes an entire essay blaming their ex-best friend for every downfall in their life. Natalie Beach is Caroline Calloway's ex-friend and ghostwriter. She's also someone who massively projected her insecurities on a clearly unstable person. You'd think after seven years, Natalie would be able to step away and reflect on how she contributed to the toxic friendship.
No one forced Natalie to do anything. It's true. If you look at the whole situation without all the heightened emotion, both women were using the friendship to leverage off each other. The pursuit of money bound them together, Natalie acknowledges this consistently throughout her writing.
We've all had a toxic friendships like the one Natalie Beach wrote about. They're the friendships where one of you has all the power, while the other one is consistently jealous and anxious. I was the Natalie in all of mine. But years after those friendships ended, I now realise I kept those friendships toxic by staying in them.
Instead of pulling away from situations which maintained my insecurities, I silently hated from afar. When those people suffered inevitable popularity downfalls or something equally satisfying, I felt like I got my own. But what does this achieve? Actually, nothing productive. I didn't become any less miserable from other people's downfalls until I went to therapy for childhood trauma. My insecurities had nothing to do with the evil Caroline Calloways of my life.
Not feeling beautiful enough or successful enough doesn't mean people around you are responsible for your lack of basic self-worth. Both Natalie and Caroline portrayed controlling and manipulating behaviours from the start. Yet Natalie somehow thinks she came off better from writing the expose. She didn't. They were as bad as each other.
If we learned anything from The Cut piece, it's that hurt people hurt other hurt people. Often, they're drawn to one another and chaos ensues. But clear winners or losers never emerge from these situations because two realities can exist at the same time. It's possible that Caroline was using Natalie for financial and social gain, but it's equally possible that Natalie had deep rooted hatred for Caroline, using her when she was at her lowest.
Seven years after they first met, Natalie and Caroline are still capitalising off each other. But this time they're doing it publicly as the whole world watches. Seems like Caroline isn't the only one with narcissistic tendencies.