A San Francisco-based blogger is catching flak for posting photos of herself on Instagram posing in a ballgown as the sky smoldered from the California wildfires in the scene behind her.
Colette LeClair, who has over 30,000 followers on the social media platform, posted a pair of beach photos on Wednesday before moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles. And although she noted that it was her “last days here,” author Caroline Moss was quick to point out that the post of LeClair in an orange dress matching the burnt orange skies was way more insensitive than it was sentimental — especially with a caption advertising where to buy the tulle gown.
WE LIVE IN HELL (this is an influencer who just posted a photo of clothing she’s selling by *posing in it* on the beach in San Francisco as forest fires rage around her) pic.twitter.com/PFgfgBcKSE
— Caroline Moss (@CarolineMoss) September 10, 2020
”We live in hell,” Moss wrote on Twitter alongside a screenshot of LeClair’s post. “This is an influencer who just posted a photo of clothing she’s selling by *posing in it* on the beach in San Francisco as forest fires rage around her.”
The caption captured in the Instagram screenshot shows LeClair’s attempt to drive traffic to her blog with the striking photo and advertising the designer of the gown she’s wearing. According to her Instagram profile as of Thursday evening, the caption has been changed and it appears LeClair has turned the comments on the post off.
”Wanted to say goodbye to the ocean and beach and do something I used to enjoy so much here for years — TRIPOD PHOTOS,” the current caption on the post reads. “Currently gathering a lot of clothes to donate - yay!”
LeClair also added “Prayers for California” to conclude the post — a sentiment notably missing in the screenshot posted to Twitter by Moss. Still, LeClair tells Yahoo Life that the post was meant as a simple goodbye to San Francisco before moving away.
Related video: Jeffree Star angers fans with deleted post about California wildfires
“I take photos on the beach. I love the beach,” she says. “I went to the beach, wore a dress I was donating the next day.”
She also acknowledged the fires taking place close to home. “There is a forest fire 100 miles from where I live, according to the news. It is heartbreaking,” she says. “I am always Googling the fires and have been since they started, as most people in California would do. I am very sorry for the fires.”
Despite her caption change, some people on Twitter are still upset.
She changed and caption and turned off comments , but still selling the dress.
— Elizabeth (@cheesee_lizee) September 10, 2020
Grim on so many levels.
— Wear. your. mask. (@rosie_ann_leigh) September 10, 2020
May be her agent talked her into believe the next photoshoot is in Mars, so let us rehearse one before they head out to red planet. She disabled the comments to this post. She knew what was coming. #tonedeaf
— Faaju AlFatah (@FaajuAlFatah) September 10, 2020
Moss didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Life’s request for comment. However, she isn’t the only person on social media who is holding influencers accountable for the tone of their posts during this time.
i just saw this influencer post “it’s perfect selfie lighting outside 😌”
girl, your state is literally on fIRE
— mama rooosh (@sushiroosh) September 10, 2020
an influencer in the middle of the california fires: hey guys I just wanted to hop on here really quick to say I know times are hard right now but remember to be yourself!!!
— Tanya Chen (@tanyachen) September 10, 2020
"We all want these fires to be put out, but remember to never put out the fire in your heart.
I know I never do and my Fit Tea gives me the energy I need to push through each day."
— Jay 🚀 (@MisterJHuffman) September 10, 2020
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