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Pop Culture with Aminah: The 2021 Met Gala

The outside of the Met
The Metropolitan Museum of Art; photo by Wally Gobetz/Creative Commons

On Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m., the annual Met Gala will take place. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. Despite the press that the event gets, the general public knows very little about what actually happens at the Met Gala. The only insight we get is celebrities walking into the event and group pictures that sometimes come out, but these things are enough for us to draw conclusions about.

The Met Gala is just another elitist leisure event. For one, the theme this year feels off. Titled In America: A Lexicon of Fashion, the theme is meant to capture the events in the last year that have sparked conversation and action in the country. Honestly, the theme feels very superficial. A group of wealthy people in high society spending thousands of dollars to comment on social issues doesn’t feel genuine.

A “leaked” guest list for the event this year threw everyone for a loop. It has since been proven that the list was fake, but the fact that it was so believable proves just how distanced the Met Gala is from the general public. I think most people were upset because of how average the false guests were. Social media influencers like Addison Rae and the D’Amelio family were rumored to make an appearance (the D'Amelios have since clarified that they will not be attending). Much of their status comes from things that most people their age are doing — making videos online. That isn’t to say they aren’t talented at what they do, but rather, their talents are so general that the veil of exclusivity promoted by the Met Gala doesn’t match.

Nikita Dragun, a YouTuber and another rumored guest, explained on her Instagram story that social media influencers had just as much of a right to attend these kinds of events because they worked just as hard. But the reality is that hard work isn’t why anyone is invited to the Met Gala (or why anyone was outraged over the list). At the end of the day, money is what determines their ability to attend a private event with so much secrecy surrounding it. Suddenly being able to attend one of the most talked-about events of the year with little-to-no talent distinction showed how money can really change how someone is perceived, and highlighted the privilege that often comes with being famous.

Of course, I still find the Met Gala to be intriguing. The fashion is always interesting, but something about rich people playing dress-up for a social cause doesn’t sit right with me. There will always be an underlying notion that these kinds of events are meant for certain people.

By Aminah Jenkins, Associate Editor


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