From Donald Trump to movie directors to Queen Elizabeth II, I have ripped many rich and famous people a new one. So, naturally, when I saw the theme of this year’s Met Gala I knew what had to be done.
While there were many horrible outfits and the fact Blake Lively was not in attendance, that’s not why I’m writing this article. Jared Leto, you have been spared.
Sounds fun, right? A night of too much tweed and Lil Nas X’s buttcheeks out in his rhinestone and glitter cat look, what’s not to like?
Well, the problem with the Met Gala this year is who they were honoring: Karl Lagerfeld.
Lagerfeld is “one of the most acclaimed fashion designers in the world… Known for his bold designs and constant reinvention, he was hailed in Vogue as the ‘unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment.'” Lagerfeld was known to have revived Chanel’s dying brand, which also has a disgusting history behind it with its founder Coco Chanel.
It makes sense to honor a fashion icon at the Met Gala. But did it really have to be this one?
Lagerfeld has been documented to have said many problematic and disgusting things. These include, but are not limited too, body shaming models, sexist remarks, and horrific comments towards victims of sexual assault.
Lagerfeld was quoted in the fashion magazine Numéro,“If you don’t want your pants pulled about, don’t become a model! Join a nunnery, there’ll always be a place for you in the convent. They’re recruiting even!”
One might defend him and say that things were different back then and we shouldn’t harp on things people said decades ago. That quote is from 2018 in response to the Me Too Movement.
In 2009, he stated, “No one wants to see curvy women…These are fat mummies sitting with their bags of crisps in front of the television, saying that thin models are ugly.”
He even said Chanel’s founder couldn’t have been a feminist because “she was never ugly enough for that.”
He was extremely cruel to not only overweight women, but also women of color. In 2010, Lagerfeld put supermodel Claudia Schiffer in makeup to appear as a black woman as well as an asian woman to ‘reflect different men’s fantasies.’
Lagerfeld has also attacked Syrian refugees taken in by Germany, saying they were Jewish people’s worst enemies.
Lagerfeld, a gay man, also opposed gay marriage and same-sex parents adopting children
There’s so much more, but I think you all get the point.
The Met and Anna Wintour, the fashion icon who runs the gala, should be ashamed of celebrating such a disgusting man.
When will people wake up and realize that the rich and famous shouldn’t be idolized to the extent that they are, especially when they are disgusting human beings.
Every celebrity in attendance this year celebrated a man who unapologetically offended millions of people. Letting celebrities get away with this behavior is unacceptable.
Society lets these people get away with saying and doing heinous things just because they produce some sort of entertainment or art. Celebrities are not above us just because they are famous.
And even if some of the things he did are outdated, which frankly most of them are from this century, why should we brush it off and ignore it?
I am a big fan of stand up comedian Bill Burr, and I have seen him perform live. He’s hilarious, but one of his bits I didn’t totally agree with. Burr’s bit consisted of him complaining about “cancelling dead people.”
I think older generations don’t quite understand what “cancelling” is. It is simply just letting people receive the consequences for their actions, and sometimes that means losing partnerships or other jobs. This isn’t even a new concept, it’s just been given a name.
Even so, it’s not that I want to “cancel” dead people, outdated movies, or whatever else was offensive back in the day. It’s that I believe we shouldn’t celebrate or ignore the past if it’s offensive.
Some of Disney’s older movies include some sort of racism and some people were mad that people were calling out Disney. But, in a true progressive society that is working towards equality, acceptance and tolerance, we have to right our wrongs from the past and address them. We can’t just sweep it under the ground because it’s outdated.
So with all that being said, the Met Gala should not be celebrating Lagerfeld, even if he was a fashion icon. Even if he is no longer with us, we can’t let some old white man get away with his atrocious insults and actions just because he’s rich and dead.
To anyone in charge of the Met Gala, I hope you learn from your mistakes and celebrate designers worth celebrating, such as Patrick Kelly.
Kelly was a designer who was the first American designer ever to be welcomed to the Chambre Syndicale du Prêt-à-Porter, which was founded in 1868 and is “dedicated to preserving the standards of French fashion culture.” Kelly was optimistic and wanted to bring people joy with his designs. He “approached design with…his belief that Black women needed a welcoming, egalitarian space within fashion that also celebrated joy.”
Or, the Met can celebrate other underappreciated designers such as Ann Lowe. Lowe was a groundbreaking fashion designer who “was responsible for generations of New York City socialite fashion and the ever iconic wedding dress of [Jackie Kennedy] for her 1953 marriage to future President John F. Kennedy. Still, Lowe to this day is left out of conversations about the styles of her time and despite being one of the most sought-after creators did not benefit enough financially to ground a legacy fashion house.” Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy never said her name and only answered with “a colored dressmaker did it.”
Maybe next years theme can be celebratory of all the designers who worked hard to get where they are and not have rich Nazi parents to give them their fortune. Maybe you can focus on the fashion designers who don’t get enough recognition for breaking boundaries and celebrating different cultures and body types rather than putting them down. And maybe next year we don’t invite Jared Leto.