In a post today Caroline Calloway muses about how a person who has been subjected to an abnormal amount of negative and at times cruel publicity such as herself, has to not ask why because there is no answer. Well, I have to disagree and I have to write about it.
See, the more I analyze it I see what I believe the answer actually is, in her case. Although, she’s an example of an overall trend in my opinion. A trend I’ve discussed often.
…Given the current political/social culture in the West…and perhaps most of the world, actually…people don’t want “rich people” to truly exist. I mean sure, “fake rich” or bourgeois is fine (to a point). You can own a big house and drive a nice car. BUT you can’t have more than one house…and you should be at least badly in debt if not massively. A net worth over $200,000.00 not including home equity for a 40-something is cause for suspicion (and that’s a low bar). OR if you have a firmly upper-middle or upper-class background that’s also problematic to most people nowadays. They admire it (sometimes openly) but people don’t really respect it anymore. Matter-of-fact they often suspect there’s something criminal and dark about those “rich” sort of people. But, while that sounds like a recipe for a revolution, I think the majority of people actually take deep solace in the idea that those “better than them” on the socio-economic scale are lesser human beings otherwise. And so…if you’re at all kind or artistic or unruly or deep or troubled in some sympathetic way and you’re “rich” (or from a certain background) you’re (perhaps against your will) just asking for impassioned levels of scrutiny if you’re in even a somewhat public position. Doubly so if you’re at all pretty and a young woman.
Caroline was on the path to her present spot the moment she bothered to be herself and tell people about her time at Cambridge. And then, ironically, once she did anything…anything even remotely foolish it just fed the starving critics who longed desperately for a morsel of some reason to hate her and make themselves feel superior or less…repressed rage.
Enraged? Secretly? Why yes.
Again, I think…given the way evil and tragedy and futility are fetishized by a lot of the present press for monetary purposes combined with the actual political climate and…the very (seemingly) authentic issue of loss of middle-class jobs and stagnant wages and a profoundly disturbing immigration crisis…people are really angry. Especially middle class people who aren’t truly “rich” or don’t have a certain background. Especially people like that who came from middle-class families of some sort. Unless they feel they truly “made it” (and that’s complex) a lot of people feel incredible resentment nowadays, I think. They are not pleased individuals.
So…yeah. I think the fact that Calloway went to Exeter and Cambridge and is well-bred and beautiful enough to even conceive of wearing fresh flowers in her flaxen locks before hundreds of thousands of people… creates a platform just begging for intense and I mean wild amounts of scrutiny. I mean she’s not even “famous famous” in a way that they can sympathize with. Like, certain allowances are made for American political dynasties because most people know they suffer from a terrible lack of privacy in some way. But if you’re just “Instagram famous” I think a lot of people secretly see it as having your cake and eating it too, and again, if you’re “too posh” and pretty at the same time it feels like a crime to them or they want it to be.
Actually the last article on her in Vice is such a giveaway. It’s filled with clues. She’s characterized (as I wrote about) as this ultra spoiled brat who also secretly is “poor and trashy” (And the very angry people rejoice! *rolling eyes*). Except…in reality…she’s either a. rich spoiled brat from old money or b. she’s a street rat. …But for most haters sound logic is of little importance or relevancy. Narratives can seemingly involve magic at any whim to cover all plot inconsistencies. If it feels good in the midst of genuine “middle-class problems” to believe something extremely unlikely at best and totally idiotic at worst…then that’s still desirable anyway. So! She’s magically both! *cue (fake & sarcastic) gleeful hand clapping*
It all goes beyond normal jealousy and insecurity.
But seriously though, we’re in trouble. Hopefully we’ll all find a way out of it.
And someday I’d bet Calloway will either look back and think, “Those were dark years but thankfully things aren’t as hostile now.” or she’ll be seen as so obviously a canary in a coal mine that the answers will be almost a given for anyone who truly thinks about it.