The MetGala and Fashion for Social Justice Statements | Opinion
Every year, celebrities, artists, fashion designers and artists eagerly await the most extravagant and expensive event of the year: the Met Gala. While the main purpose of the Met Gala is to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, it’s also an opportunity to make a fashion statement.
With the theme of this year’s Met Gala being “In America: A Fashion Lexicon” and the emphasis on American independence, many celebrities took the opportunity to use their fashion to make a statement regarding the social issues facing them. America is facing. . Over the past year, the United States has faced countless social issues that have not received the attention it deserves. Therefore, participants made statements on social issues ranging from inequality of wealth to equal rights.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Mahoney wore a purple, green and yellow dress with the words “equal rights for women” written on the sides. She was also holding a tambourine with the words “ERA yes” on it, representing her support for the equal rights amendment, which has yet to be passed. The equal rights amendment would guarantee legal gender equality for women and men.
In addition to representing women’s rights, many have used their fashion to draw attention to issues facing the LGBTQ + community, especially United States Women’s National Team soccer player Megan Rapinoe and makeup artist. Nikkie de Jager (better known as nikkietutorials). Rapinoe rocked a bright red suit with a blue undershirt depicting the American flag, while holding a bright blue marble handbag quoting “In Gay we trust”, aimed at representing the LGBTQ + community of which Rapinoe herself is a part. . In an attempt to honor Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender woman known for her efforts during the Stonewall Rebellion and helping LGBTQ + youth, de Jager remodeled her dress after a crown Johnson wore in a famous photo.
The fashion statement that I think has garnered the most attention belongs to New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), who wore a white dress with the words “Tax the Rich” painted in it. the back in red. Ocasio-Cortez advocates for many different progressive causes, including the Green New Deal and the taxation of the rich. Despite the strong message that AOC’s fashion statement was meant to represent, she has encountered controversy from both sides of the political spectrum, even her own.
Donald Trump Jr. denounced AOC on “hypocrisy” and said it was ignoring its own message by “hanging out with a bunch of wealthy leftist elitists.” In addition to judgment and criticism from the right, AOC has also received criticism from the left.
Progressive and self-proclaimed socialists also expressed their disapproval of AOC’s dress code, saying the gesture caricatured a progressive cause and that AOC had failed to maximize its ability to defend workers in Congress.
Despite the criticism, many progressives still support AOC and its work, and it has done a lot to help the working class and all Americans. Maya Wiley, a former New York mayoral candidate whose campaign was backed by AOC, has publicly defended AOC and its fashion statement.
According to the New York Times, Wiley said the Met Gala is part of New York City culture and identifying as a Democratic Socialist does not mean hating or avoiding the wealthy who show up. Wiley said she sees AOC’s fashion statement as brilliant for tackling a topic so relevant to celebrities and the wealthy attending the Met Gala.
Along with Wiley, Faiz Shakir, head of the Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign, also defended her, saying, “She’s generally happy to spark people’s enthusiasm for a different view of America. There is an art in there: politics is theater. You are looking for ways to animate it.
Responding to criticism received by AOC, she told the New York Times that “before anyone starts to lash out, elected officials from New York are regularly invited to and attend the Met because of our responsibilities in overseeing cultural institutions. of our city that serve the public “.
AOC posted on Instagram that she felt like she had been watched from all corners of the political spectrum since becoming a member of Congress.