Friday, December 12, 2008

Celebrity Sighting: Noxema Girl

From Celebrity Sightings
A spate of celebrity sightings these past couple days. Happened upon celebrity chefs Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and Marcus Samuellson (of Aquavit) yesterday, we happened to visit crate and barrel and zabar's where each was doing a book signing.

At lunch at Sarabeth's (reputedly best brunch in New York, though I'm not so sure) I overheard the conversation at the table next to mine, where someone was talking about how she got the giggles on stage recently, so I looked over, and saw "noxema girl" (aka Rebecca Gayheart)

Noxema has had many spokes-people over the years, but only one "noxema girl." She dropped off celebrity radar shortly afterwards, with a brief stint on my radar in the very shortlived sci-fi show Earth 2. She starred in a lot of noxema commercials in the early 90's, and everyone I knew just called her "noxema girl" years before I ever saw it in print. And that was back in the day when hardly anyone used the Internet (kind of hard to imagine today) so pretty neat how the meme of her nickname spread somehow.

I always wondered about meme spreading in the pre-Internet age. Like childhood games like Wall-ball and all the variants of tennis ball and wall that kids played during unsupervised time, the same way in the many elementary schools I went to. Or "circle circle dot dot, now I got a cootie shot" which also someone seemed universally known.

This, I was pondering after surreptitiously taking a photo, while pretending to check e-mail on my phone. Afterwards I turned back to my New York Times magazine, where a few pages later I found this quote in a Jennifer Aniston interview:

Q: How much do you hate cameras on phones?

A: My favorite move is when people pretend that they’re on the phone and they kind of dial and take the picture at the same time. You hope they’re doing it for themselves — that they’re not thinking, I’m going to dine out on you.
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