You TikTok kids are probably sick of us olds out here with our 80s and 90s nostalgia. We olds can’t match your cleverness with creating viral videos, it’s true. And, yes, it’s so annoying how we invade your social media spaces so that you have to keep finding new platforms to hang out, free from your uncle’s attempt at the latest dance craze. But what we have that you don’t is… supermodels.
Sure, the current supermodels are fine. I love Gigi Hadid. But they are not Linda and Christy and Kate and Claudia and Naomi and Cindy. Please. Don’t bother arguing. Your supermodels might have the angles, but they don’t have the stories. These are facts.
We’ve been talking a lot about celebrity fumbles in isolation lately. Some of them have embarrassed themselves. Others have done worse – they’ve insulted people, and exposed their lack of self-awareness. And now all kinds of think-pieces have been written about how COVID-19 might be harming the celebrity ecosystem beyond the physical.
That said, not all celebrities are f-cking up in isolation. In fact, there’s been a lot of excellent celebrity content that’s being produced, and I use the word deliberately. They are, 100%, self-producing content to be consumed. John Krasinski’s doing a great job, and we’ll get to that on the new episode of Show Your Work that will be posted later today. As Maria mentioned in Celebrity Social Media yesterday, Matthew McConaughey’s bingo and the fireside chats about his movies is a solid contribution to the Social Distancing Recommendations list. And now Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford have come through … for almost an hour!
Pre-lockdown, any YouTube video over three and a half minutes (unless it’s Beyoncé) was a problem for me. During lockdown, the longer the better. And Naomi and Cindy’s conversation, part of Naomi’s new series No Filter with Naomi, is worth all your minutes. They talk about meeting Princess Diana and then-teenager Prince William. They talk about the food at photo shoots. Naomi asks Cindy about her mole. They share stories about their favourite photographers (Herb Ritts!). Naomi was the first among all of them to get a cellphone back in the day and it was one of those ludicrously oversized ones – and, of course, no one can miss the irony here re: Naomi talking about phones.
Also they reminisce about shooting the Freedom! 90 video. Come on!
Like I said, Gen X models could never.
So why isn’t this as boring as when celebrities interview each other for print magazine interviews that we collectively bemoaned because it was contributing to the death of the celebrity profile? As I wrote in my post about Justin Bieber interviewing Tom Holland, something is lost when you can’t see them interacting and therefore gained when you can see their expressions. But also, those magazine interviews happen when they have a movie or a series or an album or a line of clothing/makeup/skincare coming out. There’s always a motive.
Right now, celebrities are talking to each other when they don’t actually have anything to talk about, no talking points, no messaging, no sales pitch. When you remove the targeting then, what you’re left with, simply, is two people who want the attention – from you, yes, from also from EACH OTHER.
And this makes all the difference.