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Opinion: Met Gala

May 16, 2022

The 2022 Met Gala was held Monday, May 2. For those unfamiliar, the Met Gala is a fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in Manhattan. It precedes the opening of each year’s fashion exhibit for the Costume Institute. 

This year’s theme was Gilded Glamor, relating to the Gilded Age, a period in late 19th century America marked by class divisions, inequality, and increasing concentration of wealth amongst the upper 1%. 

Immediately, one should be struck by the overwhelming irony behind billionaires like Elon Musk and Kylie Jenner attempting to dress suitably with this theme. 

Costs for a table at the Met Gala range from $200,000 to $300,000, ensuring only the elite, upper class are able to attend the event.

The Gala literally takes place at the epicenter of the Gilded Age. New York robber barons were responsible for a majority of the injustices committed against unskilled workers and immigrants. 

Now, more than a century later, this corruption is not completely gone.

We still see these stark class divisions. We still see stupidly wealthy people getting away with blatant malfeasance.

Donald Trump paid $750 in taxes the year he became president. 

Our system allows for conniving people to slither their way out of responsibility, their coffers growing heavier the longer they lie. 

And thus, last Monday, around 400 of the wealthiest names in America fooled around in a museum accompanied by a theme that was implemented to mock them. 

The worst part is, nobody even did the theme well. 

Sure, Laura Harrier looked gorgeous in her corset, Blake Lively had a beautiful gold gown, but there was so much opportunity to show a more profound understanding.

Almost every year, only half of the attendees (at best) seemed to understand the theme, but even the people on theme this year were underwhelming. 

So much could’ve been achieved, so much could’ve been said.

We don’t need a cringe Cara-Delevingne-Peg-the-Patriarchy repeat. All I wanted was something meaningful. 

I’m not a fashion designer, it’s not my job to figure this out. However, I know the weight of utilizing parallels and continuity over time. I’m a good DBQ writer, trust me. 

Workers’ rights are just as important as they were in the 19th century. Gluttony has flourished and inflation hasn’t matched wages. 

All these issues were staring the Met Gala attendees right in the face, and still, they missed the bigger picture. 

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