Earlier this week, Colette LeClair, a self-described influencer, posted two photos of herself on a beach in the San Francisco area wearing a bright orange dress. Behind her, the sky is also a shade of orange from the fires.
In the initial caption, which has since been edited, LeClair said it was her last day in San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles, according to a screenshot of the caption.
“I found some gorgeous dresses on sale & they are all linked on coletteprime.com in the most recent post!” the original caption appeared to say. “This one is from @shopakira but it’s old- I found new ones listed on their site and linked them in my blog post.”
However, LeClair’s post was quickly called out as insensitive.
On Thursday, author Caroline Moss tweeted a screenshot of the original caption and the Instagram post, criticizing LeClair.
“WE LIVE IN HELL,” Moss wrote on Twitter. “(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).”
Since then, LeClair’s original caption has been changed and the captions have been turned off.
As of Friday, the post said: “My last day here! Wanted to say goodbye to the ocean and beach and do something I used to enjoy so much here for years- TRIPOD PHOTOS. Currently gathering a lot of clothes to donate-yay! this one will not make it with me to LA, but there is someone here who will adore it.”
Despite LeClair’s change of tone on her Instagram post, people were still frustrated with the post, calling it “grim” and “tone deaf.”
However, LeClair told Yahoo that she was just trying to say goodbye to San Francisco — and the beach she loves — before moving to Los Angeles.
“I take photos on the beach,” she told the website. “I love the beach.”
“I went to the beach, wore a dress I was donating the next day,” she added.
She also told Yahoo that the fires are “heartbreaking.”
“I am always Googling the fires and have been since they started, as most people in California would do,” she said. “I am very sorry for the fires.”