Melissa Wood is coming under scrutiny for her lack of transparency. The fitness instructor slash health coach leads a social media existence that would have anybody jealous. Hers is an Instagram story of juicing in the morning, pilates flows in the afternoon, and plant-based dinners she just whipped up in the evening, punctuated with adorable shots of her two kids, and the occasional mention of her husband, recognizable nightlife name Noah Tepperberg.
The Co-Founder and Co-Owner of TAO, LAVO, Avenue and Marquee met his wife way back when she was a cocktail waitress at the latter of his long list of establishments. Fifteen years later, her career in the world of wellness has blown up, with over 580,000 followers eager to hear all about her morning meditations, what she’s eating, what new clothes she’s working out in, etc.
Melissa is touted as a truly organic, transparent influencer – as far as one can tell she doesn’t edit her photos, and she regularly gets real about her struggles with stress and motherhood. But as has been the case with many, the pandemic seems to be spreading a dose of doubt over her image.
Last evening, Melissa celebrated her husband’s birthday with a party in the Hamptons. Held at what appears to be a private residence (that is not the Tepperberg home), the party began with guests such as Tinamarie Clarke and Richie Akiva receiving rapid Covid tests, showing results in 15 minutes. Next up was an evening of dinner and fireworks for the non-masked crowd.
But if you solely followed Melissa, you’d have no idea that this is how she spent the night. Her stories for the day show only some fun at home with her house guest for the weekend Isabel Grutman, her driving in a car with her husband in a serious going-out look, a followup with exactly where followers can buy her dress and jewelry, and then a static post of her and Noah, no mention of a party.
Now, did the Tepperbergs likely take all of the proper precautions to make the event as safe as it could be? Yes. But does the fact that she didn’t show any glimpse of the process or the event itself show that somewhere deep down she knew this was not a cute image moment? Yes. Is it unfortunate that so many people in the US don’t have access to quick, accurate testing? Yes. Is it irresponsible of her to use the resources that she is fortunate enough to have to create an experience like this for her husband and all of her friends? Who’s to say.
Still, Melissa has been facing comments calling her out for this bad brand moment. And what appears to be even more surprising behavior for the chilled out influencer? She’s deleting them.
Last month Melissa attended The Chainsmokers eye roll of a concert in the Hamptons – the one that was quickly denounced by Cuomo himself as completely irresponsible and unbelievable. Melissa though defended her presence there, and maintained that she acted responsibly, socially distancing and wearing a mask. General consensus on this one is that that was not the right move.
But there’s another thing that’s been eating at her followers lately – her well documented friendship with the more than problematic influencer Danielle Bernstein. All of her troubles with allegedly copying designers and photoshopping her photos and just being a nightmare aside, Danielle has spent the summer in the Hamptons, hanging out with friends, hitting up private backyard parties and hot spots, gatherings we’re sure Melissa has gone to at least a few of. Sharing just about every footstep of her life, Danielle’s come under serious attack from critics calling her out for her irresponsible, privileged behavior. But, as questionable as Danielle’s socializing seemingly without a care may be (she also maintains that everyone at all of the gatherings she goes to gets tested, which is however much a truth you want it to be I suppose), at least she’s not hiding it?
So what’s really more problematic? Influencers who are living their lives like everything’s normal (responsibly or irresponsibly), out and about with their friends, sharing it on social media? Or influencers doing the exact same who aren’t telling you about it?