Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been gracing magazine covers with her beauty for decades, and she’s one of a handful of celebrities who are often recognized just by their first name. But believe it or not, there are people out there who have the same name — and one recently spoke out about it.
Naomi Campbell shares a name with a teacher
In a November 2020 op-ed for Metro UK, a young teacher named Naomi Campbell wrote about her experience sharing a name with one of the world’s biggest supermodels her whole life.
“At first, I loved and reveled in all the attention that came with it. It gave me a lot of confidence and I would introduce myself to everyone, who in turn fawned over the little girl with the same name as one of the world’s most famous faces,” Campbell reflected.
“But then I got to secondary school.”
The teacher Naomi Campbell was self-conscious because of her famous namesake
Even though she initially loved sharing a name with a famous supermodel, Campbell quickly grew tired of it all. “Teenage anxieties meant I no longer wanted to stand out from the crowd, and having a name like mine often meant the opposite,” she said.
“Once other students found out I was flooded with questions, the main one being: ‘Are you related to her?’ Others would remark, ‘I bet you wish you were the real Naomi Campbell,’” she recounted. “All these comments are pretty tiring.”
“Of course this translated to me drawing a comparison between the two of us, and I ended up quite conscious about my looks,” the 23-year-old teacher said honestly. “I was terrified of other people imagining both of us side by side. I was a teenager, and I felt awkward anyway, so these sort of comments definitely did not help.”
Naomi Campbell surprised her teacher counterpart
The supermodel Campbell caught wind of the teacher’s story and reached out in a touching way. The two connected over video from thousands of miles away, and the supermodel shared the moment on Instagram.
“Thank you to people like you who really are keeping the world going, and putting yourself out there on the front line, because being a schoolteacher is putting themselves out there on the front lines,” the supermodel told her.
“Thank you Naomi Campbell to you and all the school teachers out there who put themselves on the frontlines every day,” Campbell captioned the video. “Lovely meeting you and I hope now you will not be teased anymore, my new friend who bears the same name from Streatham.”
The 2 Naomi Campbells have something else in common
It turns out that a name is not the only thing that the two Naomi Campbells have in common. The teacher works at a school in Streatham — the same neighborhood in south London where the supermodel grew up.
Campbell the teacher noted this in her Metro piece, though she didn’t even make the connection herself. “When I moved to Streatham in London from Leeds, aged 23, I was excited for what this new chapter of my life would bring,” she said. “I didn’t realize that I had inadvertently relocated to the birthplace of my famous namesake, and that the jokes and comments that had followed me around my whole life were only going to get worse.”
“I remember thinking, ‘What are the chances? As if sharing a name wasn’t enough,’” Campbell continued. “On the occasions when I get talking to locals, they’ll point out various buildings and tell me where the ‘real’ Naomi Campbell went to school or did this or that. I know so much about her childhood now that I could almost lead a ‘the life of Naomi Campbell’ guided walking tour.”
The supermodel Campbell gave a shoutout to her “new friend” from Streatham in her Instagram post about their meeting, and used the hashtag #SouthLondonGirls with a Union Jack flag.
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