Delivering a message on climate change was a feat.
t came courtesy of model and influencer Sarah Talabi after she was asked about rumors that she “kissed and danced” with actor Timothée Chalamet at last weekend’s celebrity-studded Coachella music festival in California.
“Everyone asks me if I kissed Timothée Chalamet at Coachella, and that’s a good question,” she replied to Page Six of the New York Post, the grande dame of gossip columns. “But a big question would be asking our world leaders why the earth is now losing 1.2 trillion tons of ice every year due to global warming and why reforming the climate crisis has been utterly ineffective. I encourage you to reach out to your local representatives and ask them to do so.”
Instead of a predictable “no comment,” Talabi’s ’50s words steered a frothy showbiz article on an issue that matters — and in a place where readership is rarely exposed to news about the collapse of the polar ice sheets.
Talabi, who co-wrote a book on intersectional feminism with her twin sister Leah, is already proving herself a pro at using social media as a forever megaphone. Her Instagram account, which has 1.5 million followers, links to images of designer outfits and red carpets, a UNICEF fundraiser for children in Ukraine, and her own nonprofit, which is a community and resource center for black women and marginalized voices is.
She’s not the only one who has deployed a crafty bait and switch in the name of climate awareness.
Heidi Montag, who appeared on MTV reality show The Hills and was a tabloid staple in the early 2000s, last week questioned her own reputation for a bigger cause.
The 35-year-old posted an ad for S1NGLES jeans, the “world’s first disposable jeans,” on her Instagram account.
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“No more shrinking. No more fading colors. Just good mood. You’ll always look good because you only wear @S1NGLESJEANS once,” her caption read. As expected, comments below the post were outraged, even insulting.
A day later, she posted a video of herself swimming in the water, wearing jeans and a white T-shirt emblazoned with the word “STUPID” — along with details of the partnership with marine environmental charity Oceana. “Disposable jeans are as dumb as the single-use plastic bottles that pollute our oceans,” she wrote in the caption, urging soft drink makers to phase out them and switch to refillable bottles.
Talabi’s succinct remark to Page Six will likely have even wider reach, particularly by leveraging the connection to Chalamet (who would certainly agree, given his starring role in climate change allegory Don’t Look Up). The gossip column remains a tabloid to be reckoned with, with about 24 million monthly readers flocking to its website and another 170,000 reading in print, according to figures cited by Esquire in 2020.
It would be foolish to write off the tactics of Talabi or Montag (and these are far from the only examples). Ensuring that climate change is discussed in places where it is rarely mentioned is far more useful to the cause than shouting slogans into an echo chamber.
Cardi B was trolled by Republicans and laughed at by many Democrats when she spoke out on political issues like health care and gun restrictions. “Why exactly isn’t she a brilliant political mind? Because she’s a rapper? Because she’s a former stripper? Because of the way they speak? Because she didn’t go to college?” Natalie Gontcharova was writing in Refinery29 at the time. (Many Democrats quickly changed their minds about Cardi B upon realizing her reach and potency among voters.)
There is no right way to talk about climate change, and there should be no gatekeepers — no scientists, no politicians, no tech moguls, and no journalists. It’s a tent we all need to be in if there’s any real chance of turning the tide of what currently looks like a runaway disaster. Every moment like Talabi’s only invites more people.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/everyones-got-an-opinion-on-model-sarah-talabis-quote-about-timothee-chalamet-dont-be-a-gatekeeper-41571436.html Everyone has an opinion on model Sarah Talabi’s quote about Timothée Chalamet. Don’t be a gatekeeper