As much as the phrase “Celebs, they’re just like us!” gets thrown around, the truth is…they’re usually not. If social media has shown us anything, it’s that a lot of celebrities—with their wealth and privilege—can pretty much do anything. From throwing a two-year-old a Coachella-calibre birthday party (cc: Kylie Jenner), to flaunting their NBA-sized basketball court and home nightclub (hey, Drake!), to insuring their body parts for millions of dollars (google it), stars’ lives are rarely super relatable.
But it turns out sometimes we have more in common with famous folks than one would think—especially when it comes to living through a global pandemic. Such is the case for supermodel Kaia Gerber. Instead of walking a runway in Milan or posing for a world-famous photog, the face of Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume is currently hunkered down at home in an effort to flatten the COVID-19 curve and—just like us—she’s finding interesting ways to pass the time while staying inside. FLARE chatted with Gerber (via a safe physically distanced phone call, of course) about how she’s spending her time in isolation. There are puppies, a virtual book club and a lot of self-care involved.
Kaia Gerber started a book club—with perks
As an avid reader, Gerber wasn’t isolating for long before she decided to share her beloved pastime by starting a virtual book club with friends and fans alike. The model put out a call on Instagram: “I know we are all feeling isolated right now, so I was trying to think of easy ways we can stay connected (beyond just scrolling) and decided i’m gonna start a book club,” Gerber wrote in the March 27 post. “I read a lot on my own, but would love to be able to talk to you guys about it… so every week i’m gonna post a book to my stories and the following week i’ll jump on live (sometimes with a friend, writer, guest etc.) so we can all talk about the book that week!”
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i know we are all feeling isolated right now, so I was trying to think of easy ways we can stay connected (beyond just scrolling) and decided i’m gonna start a book club. i read a lot on my own, but would love to be able to talk to you guys about it… so every week i’m gonna post a book to my stories and the following week i’ll jump on live (sometimes with a friend, writer, guest etc.) so we can all talk about the book that week! ♥️ i want to start with a new favorite I’m actually rereading right now: Normal People by Sally Rooney. download it, borrow it, order it if you can! let’s all meet here and talk next week 4/3 at 12pm PST
“I’ve always wanted to do a book club, and a couple of weeks into quarantine I thought, ‘Wow, I don’t know what I would be doing if I didn’t have books right now,'” Gerber tells FLARE. “Books really have been keeping me super grounded and sane; so I thought it was the perfect time—when everyone feels pretty isolated and separated—to bring people together. “And,” she continues, “what better way to do that than with books?”
The first book her club tackled was Sally Rooney’s Normal People, a personal fave that Gerber wanted to re-visit and share with fans (she also binged an early screener of the upcoming Hulu adaptation of the book; “I think everyone’s gonna love it,” Gerber says). In addition to Normal People, Gerber—like many of us—also binged Tiger King; no word yet on whether or not she thinks Carole Baskin did it.
Not exactly sold on the idea of a virtual book club? Well, Gerber’s comes with some cool guest collaborators—Lena Dunham, for one. In the first few weeks of her book club, Gerber’s club read Dunham’s “choose-your-own-adventure” romance novel Verified Strangers which she wrote for Vogue. After reading it, Dunham joined Gerber on Instagram Live to “talk to us about our mutual love of books and about the novel.”
For those wanting to join the book club, it’s pretty easy. Members follow along on Gerber’s Instagram feed as she chooses a book for everyone to enjoy, and then hop on IG Live (at a date and time announced by Gerber) to interact with her via the comments.
“It’s been so fun choosing books and helping other people discover new books,” Gerber says. “It’s been a dream.”
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She’s passing the time with her insanely cute new puppy
Another way Gerber is spending her time while staying at home? By cuddling up with (and bottle-feeding) her foster dogs. “I am fostering puppies, which has been so good.” she says. “And it’s given me something to do and a sense of responsibility.” Since the onset of the pandemic, Gerber (an animal lover who has two dogs already) has fostered two dogs through the Labelle Foundation, an L.A.-based non-profit organization.
“Shelters are closing [and] a lot of these dogs don’t have anywhere to go, people want company right now. Fostering just seems like a really incredible way to help yourself and help these little animals right now.”
Chatting with FLARE in mid-April, Gerber had brought home her most recent foster dog—a fluffy white puppy who has since made several appearances on her IG—just the day before. And while Gerber hadn’t yet thought of a name for her newest addition, she had a few ideas. “I was thinking Kamu could be very cute. Or Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” she laughs. But with one key rule: “Full name, though—Ruth Bader.”
Kaia loves a virtual hang
Like so many of us who are trying to stay connected with friends and loved ones, Gerber is adjusting to our new way of socializing—virtually. “I have done a Zoom party,” she says. Which was, the model admits, kind of a funny experience. “Adjusting to the way the world is right now is very surreal, but it’s also incredible to see how creative we can get and how we can make it work,” she says. “As isolated as we all feel, I do feel very fortunate to stay connected with my friends through social media, Zoom, FaceTime, whatever it may be.”
Gerber appreciates this virtual connection for one reason in particular: making sure her loved ones are keeping well during the pandemic. “Just checking on the people that you love—and their mental health right now—is also something that we shouldn’t overlook,” she emphasizes.
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And focusing on self-care
Those mental health check-ins extend to herself, too. “Self-care is super important,” Gerber says. “Especially making sure your mental health is good, because we’re all figuring this out together,” she says. For Gerber, self-care can mean many things, including keeping her mind sharp. The 18-year-old is currently taking online classes, including “The Science of Well-Being” through Yale University.
She’s also sticking to her beauty routines to help maintain a sense of normalcy—and that includes keeping up daily rituals like spritzing herself with perfume once she’s out of the shower. “I wear Daisy every day of my life,” she says. Gerber has been working with Marc Jacobs for almost four years, creating an “incredible family,” she says. “I felt like if I cut that out of my routine just because I’m staying home, it would make me feel really far removed from my self,” she says. “So I’ve been wearing Daisy every day; even if I’m not going anywhere, just for myself.” The smell, Gerber says, is super nostalgic, reminding her of shooting the recent campaign which features the model in a field looking like an ethereal woodland fairy. “I just remember being in those fields and being young and wearing it—happy things like that.”
It’s these small moments of happiness that are important to tap in to while we’re at home. “No one knows what the right answer is [right now], no one really knows what to do. So, I think it’s super important to check in on yourself every day,” she advises. “And make sure you’re doing things to feed your brain and keep yourself grounded.”
Kaia, can we please quarantine with you?!