Want to send a fan letter to Dr. Deborah Birx? Slide into the DMs of the “Deborah Birx Scarves” Instagram account.
Though the tribute account isn’t officially affiliated with the now-famous physician, it hasn’t stopped thousands of admirers from sending gushing messages of gratitude to the scarf-wearing member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, whose signature accessory has provided a bright daily distraction and foil to the gravity of our national emergency.
“I’m getting a lot of people who are messaging me knowing it’s a fan account, simply to say they love her,” Victoria Strout, the Fort Worth, Texas-based music marketing executive behind the account, tells The Post.
“Then there are a lot of people who think that I am Deborah Birx, and they will send me very heartfelt messages,” Strout says. “I always feel the need to respond to the people who genuinely think I am her. But I love that I can be a place where those encouraging words can be pooled.”
Strout started the fan account on March 29 because she and her friends found themselves in intense, fawning conversations about Dr. Birx’s calming demeanor, impressive résumé and, of course, her approachable but refined style.
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“She is level-headed, cool and communicates in a very straightforward way,” Strout says. “I really admire her.”
As for her eye-catching scarves: “My friends and I have so many questions. Does she fold them, hang them up or does she have a big dry-cleaning budget? It seems like a natural thing to document.”
Strout posts daily photos of the 64-year-old accompanied by short captions that sometimes reveal the brand, price point or origin of her scarf. Most of the information comes from fellow Birx enthusiasts who offer insight in the comments. In the two weeks since its inception, Deborah Birx Scarves has swelled to more than 13,000 followers.
“Suddenly people started finding it and following,” Strout says. “Which is funny to me because that means people were searching for it.”
Since Birx doesn’t appear to be on social media or to have gone out of her way to acknowledge our national conversation about her wardrobe, there’s an enduring curiosity. Is she aware of her newly minted place as a fashion icon?
“They probably have zero time to be involved in the social narrative,” says Strout. “I would hope her daughters have said, ‘Mom, look at this.’ ”
But in the absence of an official collection box for Birx, fans are flocking to Strout’s inbox. And she takes her role as custodian of Birx’s fan mail very seriously.
“I would imagine some of the difficulties she has had to face, and I would hope she’d be encouraged by this.”