Vinay Menon: Gwyneth Paltrow may have a new line of vibrators, but she’s got nothing on Naomi Campbell when it comes to COVID-19 safety

Vinay Menon: Gwyneth Paltrow may have a new line of vibrators, but she’s got nothing on Naomi Campbell when it comes to COVID-19 safety
It was Tuesday morning and I was reading a recent Q&A the actress and Goop overlord did with the New York Times titled, “Gwyneth Paltrow is Selling Vibrators.”

Now, insert any other celebrity name in that headline and there is shock value.

Taylor Swift is not on a trajectory to one day hawk “evermore” dildos. A new line of Thor penis rings endorsed by Chris Hemsworth is not happening. I’m sorry. I know this is a family newspaper. But you need to cut me some slack because we are dealing with a star who has previously encouraged females to achieve sleep nirvana by inserting jade eggs in their yin-yangs, or to steam their privates with mugwort. If Paltrow were a gynecologist, her patients would be staring at their crotches, holding a prescription for firecrackers and thinking, “I’m not sure this is a good idea.”

But for a nice change, the part in the Q&A that really jumped out had nothing to do with the pelvic infatuations of a celebrity who, for 75 bucks, will gladly sell you a candle called, “This Smells Like My Vagina.”

It was more about Gwyneth’s face. And her shocking solipsism.

At one point, the NYT interviewer noted that last February, “way before face coverings became the norm,” Paltrow had posted a mask-selfie on Instagram. There was technically no Q there, but the star was ready with her A:

“This is a familiar pattern in my life. I do something early, everyone is like, ‘What is she doing? She’s insane.’ And then it’s adopted by the culture. I had to take this trip to France when it was all kicking off. I wore (the mask) on the plane, but I didn’t wear it to the function that I was going to, and actually ended up getting COVID and coming home, and being one of the first people that I had heard of to have it.”

Wow. Not since Gwyneth claimed to invent yoga or coin the phrase “conscious uncoupling” has there been more to unpack in one insanely delusional quote.

First of all, no one I know is masking up today because we want to be more like Patient Zero in the eerily prescient “Contagion.” Fashion statements are “adopted by the culture.” Masks are adopted by people who’d prefer to stay alive during a deadly pandemic and not infect others. Reducing masks to a consumer trend is like comparing hookah pipes to ventilators or face shields to Ray-Bans.

Equally bizarre is Paltrow’s humble-brag that she was one of “one of the first people that I had heard of to have it.” Sweetheart, this isn’t a new iPhone. It’s a novel coronavirus. The bragging rights come from being safe and NOT GETTING IT. Imagine if Paltrow had been old enough to backpack through Zaire in 1976 with her Surf Mud SPF-30 and $495 “Intimate Wellness” vibrator. She’d soon send a telegram to friends back home: “Guys, my eyes are bleeding! I’m one of the first to get Ebola!”

There were lots of celebrities who were good role models during this pandemic.

Gwyneth Paltrow is not one. But you know who is? Naomi Campbell.

That’s right. If we had all paid closer attention to this mercurial supermodel, we’d be in a much better place right now. In the summer of 2019 — months before COVID-19 was even known — Campbell posted a YouTube video titled, “Come Fly With Me.”

It was a snapshot of her travel routine. In one frantic scene, she rummages through her designer purse for plastic gloves and then starts sanitizing every surface on the plane she might touch during her flight. She’s manically decontaminating the seat, entertainment screens, console, fold-out tray, side panels … everything in arm’s reach.
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