As I was perusing the new Fashion Rocks Magazine during my lunch the other day. I stumbled upon this ad of Gwyneth Paltrow, actress/wife of Bono’s humanitarian heir Chris Martin. I must say I was quite shocked. I still haven’t decided if it was a good or bad shock but a shock nevertheless. As someone who actually is African, I am excited to see Alicia Keys’ Keep A Child Alive organization doing whatever it takes to push the envelope and make people realize the seriousness of the African AIDS epidemic. On the other hand I get the feeling there is the usual subconscious pandering which comes from many “humanitarians” who see themselves as saviors of poor helpless Africans. On the previous page of the magazine is a similar ad with David Bowie which seems to be less offensive on sight. The mixed feelings which the Gwyneth Paltrow ad is sure to get will no doubt come because she has been quite private causing the media to create an image of her as an All-American girl to satisfy the public’s need for more information. Paired with her marriage to Chris Martin of Cold Play, her public image becomes even more confusing. While Ms Paltrow might genuinely have a humanitarian streak the ad ends up getting the wrong reactions by the confused American public. We all know David Bowie to be a cause conscious celebrity and the fact that he is married to another humanitarian , supermodel Iman, solidifies his African-ness in our eyes. This should be a lesson to Gwyneth Paltrow and all other celebrities who want to keep their private lives private. You can’t rely on your celebrity to validate your cause if we don’t know who you really are. Thanks for trying though.