PCP: Is the Met Gala outdated?

Elin O'Brien, Reporter

Gotta keep the Gala by Jaclyn Cummings

Every year without fail, I find myself glued to E! when the first Monday of May rolls around, cradling a bowl of popcorn as my mom and I take on the role of fashion critics. 

Wow, Blake Lively’s stylist is a genius. Where did Kendell Kardashian’s eyebrows go? ‘Tax the Rich’ gown- a little hypocritical, I think. 

Another year of the Met Gala crashed through the community on May 2, 2022, leaving America buzzing in its wake. As the elite flaunt their privilege to the public, the country divides itself over one central argument: should this event continue or should it be left in the past? 

The annual Met Gala has been an American staple since 1948, raising money for the Metropolitan Museum and its mission of preserving art of the world from the past 5000 years. With the hope of connecting people to creativity, culture, and new ideas, the Met is a self-funding institution that focuses on studying and conserving historic pieces. That being said, for the sake of the museum’s success, the Met Gala must continue. Every year, the ball raises a large sum that goes towards ensuring the Met is prosperous. At the 2022 Met Gala, a record-breaking $17.4 million was donated, which will allow the museum to continue presenting timeless art to the American people.

In addition to the Met Gala supporting the history of art, the event has also been a major contributor to the growth of innovation. Every year, designers are presented with an opportunity to break out of the societal norms we are too often caged in. Not only does the fashion world expand, but the Met Gala also goes on to highlight the importance of freedom of expression. Self-expression is a fundamental aspect of our lives, it defines us as individuals and guides our decisions. With events such as the Met Gala that test the limits of self-expression, audiences get exposure to different personalities and how to define yourself in atypical artforms.

Going further, events like the Met Gala resparks discussions over relevant issues that often go ignored. Whether it be addressing unhealthy diet culture after a certain Marilyn Monroe dress reappears, or confronting culture appropriation through ignorant themes, the Met Gala reveals much about American society and what we stand for. 

More often than not, when the elite cross a line with their Met Gala look, the reaction is immediate. Rose colored glasses are removed and heated debates ensue amongst the people as everyone formulate their own opinion on the conflicts unburied. In a perfect world, the Met Gala would be an event where each and every piece was respectful and honorable. Unfortunately, with human nature comes mistakes. Yet there is a silver lining that comes with lapses of judgment, because it brings forward problems that have always been present and gives them the recognition they need. For all the good the Met Gala brings to the art world, the negatives have the potential to be equally beneficial as society comes together to solve the problems the elite put on display. 

Overall, the Met Gala is an event that must remain. Not only does it support the history of the fine arts, but it builds a bridge to the creativity of the future. Setting personal fashion preferences aside, it cannot be denied that the ball leaves a lasting impression on us all. That impact is valuable, for it reminds us of the power art has to build relationships and extend beyond artistic boundaries. Tune in to watch this upcoming ball on May 1, 2023.


Megabuck Met Gala by Elin O’Brien

Everyone hears about the best and most popular costumes at the annual Met Gala in New York City on the first Monday in May. From Lady Gaga to Zendaya, everyone has someone they’re looking for to see what they’re wearing.

It may seem like all rainbows and butterflies, but essentially the Met Gala is an elitist and tone-deaf event. 

Throughout the year, attendees raise awareness for humanitarian crises, mental health stigmas, and other societal issues; however, at the Met Gala, it seems all of that is compromised. 

While some are invited to the heavily-anticipated event, many have to pay to walk down the red carpet. Attendees are willing to spend and, if necessary, compete for $35,000 on a ticket and $275,000 on a table if they wish. The way attendees are willing to spend their money on a fancy dinner party doesn’t seem to align with what they advocate for on their platforms. The Met Gala is hypocritical as it shows insensitivity to less fortunate causes struggling with money, food, resources, and more.

However, the small elitist group that attends feels that this celebration is justified as their wealth has grown 70% since the start of the pandemic, according to “The Met Gala and the Hubris of Wealth.”

Most anticipated by the public is what the attendees are wearing. Celebrities dress head to toe in gold, while the billionaires dress more like normal people in modest clothing. The press surrounds the red carpet capturing the wealth shown in their outfits.  

This year’s Met Gala theme will pay tribute to the late designer Karl Lagerfeld and his designs. His style is featured in one of the most boujee brands in the world: Chanel. As a way to pay tribute, the biggest stars will be decked out in Chanel and his designs that feature other upper-class brands.

While nothing compares to Kim Kardashian’s $5 million dress worn by Marilyn Monroe, each outfit costs anywhere from $2,000 to $35,000. When you really think about it–that is an insane amount of money to spend on an outfit that will be worn once. We all can think of a better way or two that these people can spend their money: perhaps a nonprofit organization.

Meanwhile, the food at the Met Gala often goes unnoticed since most are focused on the dresses and tuxedos. The planners that organize the food for the event carefully judge what to make for the Met Gala. Having to serve dinner for roughly 600 people, there ought to be picky eaters. Having to keep everyone satisfied, the food is just as diverse as what the attendees wear. Having multiple courses with endless options, there is an absurd amount of money spent on preparing the food, setting up the tables, decorating the centerpieces, and doing much more, just for the ambiance at dinner.  

Considering the wealth disparities and economic hardships facing everyday citizens, it is wrong the amount of money, time, and energy put into the Met Gala.