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Met Gala: Good cause, wrong message

The Met Gala is an annual event that brings together the fashion industry's elite for a night of glamour and fundraising. However, while the event is a good cause, the message it sends is often problematic. From promoting harmful beauty standards to perpetuating exclusivity, the Met Gala falls short of being a truly inclusive and positive event.

Photo: People/ARTURO HOLMES/MG23/GETTY

One of the most significant issues with the Met Gala is the emphasis on physical appearance. Celebrities spend months preparing for the event, often going to extreme lengths to achieve the perfect look. This focus on beauty reinforces the message that physical appearance is the most important aspect of a person and reinforces harmful beauty standards. It also perpetuates the idea that fashion is only for those who fit a certain mold, rather than being inclusive and accessible to all.


Another issue with the Met Gala is the exclusivity of the event. The guest list is notoriously difficult to get on, and tickets are incredibly expensive. This exclusivity sends the message that only the wealthy and powerful are worthy of contributing to the arts, and that fashion is only for a select few. It also perpetuates the idea that art is only for those who can afford it, rather than being a universal form of expression.


Moreover, the themes of the Met Gala often miss the mark. While they may seem intriguing on the surface, they often fail to promote meaningful discussions about the role of fashion in society. For example, the 2019 theme, "Camp: Notes on Fashion," while visually striking, seemed disconnected from the current social and political climate. It also seemed to prioritize attention-grabbing looks rather than promoting thoughtful discourse.


Additionally, the Met Gala has been criticized for its lack of diversity. While some progress has been made in recent years, the guest list still largely consists of white, wealthy individuals. This lack of diversity continues to reinforce the idea that fashion is only for a select few, rather than being a universal art form that can be enjoyed by all. It also perpetuates the idea that only certain people are worthy of recognition and that others are not.


Furthermore, the sustainability of the Met Gala has been questioned. The event is known for its extravagant displays of wealth and excess, with many celebrities wearing one-of-a-kind pieces that will never be worn again. This emphasis on fast fashion and disposable clothing is harmful to the environment and reinforces the idea that fashion is disposable and unimportant.


Finally, the Met Gala often fails to acknowledge the contributions of marginalized communities to fashion. While the event is meant to celebrate fashion as an art form, it often prioritizes the contributions of white designers and celebrities. This lack of recognition reinforces the idea that only certain people and perspectives are important, while others are not.


In conclusion, while the Met Gala is a good cause, the message it sends is often problematic. From promoting harmful beauty standards to perpetuating exclusivity, the Met Gala falls short of being an inclusive and positive event. To truly celebrate fashion as an art form, the Met Gala must become more inclusive, diverse, and sustainable. By doing so, it can promote the role of fashion in society and inspire positive change.

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