When people look back at 2018, they'll most likely remember it fondly as the year celebrities officially stopped taking other people's B.S. The clapback, or when a hater on the internet gets swiftly shut down, has really thrived this year—but you already know that, since you follow Chrissy Teigen and Khloé Kardashian on social media.
Celeb clapbacks are entertaining, sure, but probably not so fun when you're on the receiving end of the takedown. Catherine Kallon, the founder and editor of Red Carpet Fashion Awards, can vouch. Earlier this year, she posted an Instagram critiquing Blake Lively's outfit choice du jour, writing, "It's suit number 1,356 for Blake Lively's promotion of 'A Simple Favor'. This time custom pink Ralph Lauren Collection." Blake promptly chided Kallon with the following clapback: "Would you note a man wearing lots of suits during a promo tour? So why can't a woman? Just sayinnnn. No double standards ladies."[instagram]https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn1p6KuDYaI/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_medium=loading[/instagram]
Zing! Point for Blake. A couple months after the showdown, we reached out to Kallon to see how she was feeling about the exchange. Turns out, she was genuinely shocked by Blake's clapback.
Let's rewind. As soon as Blake left her comment, the story was everywhere. (Yep, we covered the exchange on Cosmo.) Kallon immediately responded to Blake's comment, apologizing and clarifying her original intent: "You know I love you, and I personally have really enjoyed this tour," she said."If you look at my website, I have said that I have admired your total commitment to rocking suits during this promo tour. That number [was] just an attempt at humor. I'm sorry it didn't translate. Looking forward to the Paris premiere."
As the story gained momentum, Kallon was surprised by how personally people took the whole exchange. Her readers backed her up, while Blake stans accused Kallon of lobbing a personal attack on the actress. Kallon gained a ton of new followers and then lost most of them approximately two days later. She thinks perhaps people thought her account was a place where she'd talk smack about celebrities, but it wasn't, so they unfollowed.
It didn't end there. Blake then responded to Kallon's response, writing, "I don't expect everyone to like it. Fashion that creates a difference of opinions is the fun part. I totally understand the missed humor. I do the same thing sometimes. Just looking to encourage women to do what men do without being teased for it. Yes, even in a space as material as fashion. It all starts somewhere...and everyone's voice counts." Which, again, is a fair point.
BTW, here are the suits in question:
Kallon was surprised by Blake's reaction for a couple reasons. The first: Blake had followed Kallon's account for about a year, and had even complimented Kallon on her fashion coverage—so Kallon assumed that the actress was a fan, or at least, knew she wasn't a troll. Here's a screenshot of Blake's complimentary comment:
Kallon is actually a huge fan. "I am a fan of her style, and even to the point where my readers are like "Oh my god, you're so biased [about] everything she wears," Kallon explains. "I was actually hugely appreciative of the fact that she was doing something and she was committed to a theme." The caption was meant to be a joke, plain and simple. "That was the tongue-in-cheek way of saying 'And it's another suit, and it's another suit,' and it was meant to be playful," Kallon explains.
To Kallon, this kind of joke is pretty consistent with the tone of her website and her Instagram. She says she never aims to be rude to celebs, but humor is part of her product. It is the internet, after all.
The second reason? Kallon thought Blake might share her sense of humor. "If you look at [Blake's] Instagram, especially the conversations between her and her husband, my opinion was that she was a humorous person," Kallon mused. "So even though I wasn't consciously thinking "Oh, what's Blake Lively going to think of this?' My thoughts also were that even if she did see this, she would see the tongue-in-cheek value in it. She wouldn't take it personally."
"My opinion was that she was a humorous person."
Looking back on the clapback debacle all these months later, Kallon is pretty disappointed by how it all went down.
"I didn't really do anything wrong, but I didn't want to be that person that's kind of stoking up any kind of hatred or rivalry or something between myself and Blake because I still hugely respect her," she says. "I felt like she just kind of went a little bit overboard...she took it too personally."
The drama died down pretty quickly but Blake's clapback, Kallon admits, has had an unintended effect on her fashion criticism. Now she finds herself second-guessing what she writes and worrying that a comment could be misconstrued. We reached out to Blake's team to find out what she thinks about the whole celebrity clapback phenomenon—and her experience with the trend personally—but she wasn't available to comment.
I'll leave you with a piece of advice, courtesy of Kallon, both for people writing about celebs on the internet, and for the celebs themselves: "Maybe before you hit that send button you should re-read it."
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