How many days have we been quarantining? I stopped counting weeks ago—it got too depressing—but it’s officially been long enough for a public figure to be canceled, take a few weeks off of social media, then make their PR-approved reappearance into the public sphere. You love to see it. Or do you? I don’t know anymore. Of course, I’m talking about Arielle Charnas, the fashion influencer who was universally dragged last month for her bizarre choices after testing positive for COVID-19.
After a couple weeks of confusing posts, sh*t hit the fan for Arielle when a Twitter thread breaking down the timeline of her actions went viral. The issues centered around her decision to travel with her family from New York City to a rented home in the Hamptons while she was likely still contagious. There’s a lot more to the story, and I recommend reading this article for a full refresher, but none of it made her look great.
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After the backlash became too much to ignore, she took to Instagram on April 2nd, with a written apology post so long that I still can’t force myself to make it to the end. Actually, I’m not sure “apology” is the right word, because it reads more like an extended justification, but I think that’s what the intent was. Along with that post, she addressed the controversy in a series of Instagram stories of her hysterically crying.
Anyway, since those posts on the 2nd, it’s been radio silence from Arielle Charnas, which was probably a smart move. To her credit, she didn’t turn off comments on her “apology” post, and some of them are… intense. Arielle definitely made some dumb decisions, but I think anyone would need a break from social media after that.
On Friday afternoon, the three-week drought came to an end when Charnas posted a photo with her two kids. For the record, it is very cute, and I would expect nothing less. In the caption, she thanks her followers for “letting me take time to reflect”, which is a classic celebrity apology go-to. I love when celebrities say sh*t like this because it’s like, what’s the alternative—her followers go to her house and demand that she post something? Don’t get me wrong, I would be hiding out after getting virally shamed too, I just love that it’s always rebranded as if it’s done by choice.
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We missed you guys so much!! Thank you for letting me take time to reflect and be with my family. It has opened my eyes in so many ways both personally and professionally and it is this growth that I am extremely grateful for. Can’t wait to reconnect with you all – love you guys. 🤍
She continues, saying this time “has opened my eyes in so many ways both personally and professionally and it is this growth that I am extremely grateful for.” Ah yes, the textbook sentiments of eyes being opened and painful growth and, above all, gratitude. Arielle finishes by saying that she “can’t wait to reconnect” with her audience, and I don’t doubt that at all. Imagine being a professional Instagram personality stuck inside your house, and for three weeks you can’t even post on Instagram? That sounds like absolute torture.
It’s pretty clear that this relatively short Instagram caption was crafted within an inch of its life by a PR team, and that’s pretty much what I would expect. It’ll be more interesting to see, in the coming weeks and months, if Arielle Charnas actually seems to change anything about her content, or how she lives her life, or if she’s just saying what a publicist told her to. It will be equally interesting to see if this scandal will continue to put her future actions under a microscope, or if our collective memory span is too short to hold people accountable for prolonged periods of time. Only time will tell, and at this point, it’s not like I have anything else to pay attention to.
Images: Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Fossil; ariellecharnas / Instagram (2)