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In True American Fashion: Protest at The Met Gala

I’ve always found the Met Gala to be mesmerizing. Annually, we get to see all of our favorite celebrities wear iconic fashion designs and make bold statements.

This exhibit began in 1948 to help raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. In 1948, you could buy a ticket for fifty dollars. Today, tickets are $35,000 and typically sponsored for attendees. While the price of the Met Gala has changed drastically, the unjust conditions of America for minorities have been a slow burn.

The Met Gala wouldn’t be the Met Gala without an extravagant theme! This year, the theme was In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.

Most celebrities truly understood the assignment, while others have room to grow. However, my favorite part of the Met Gala this year was outside of the red carpet looks and flashing cameras. It wasn’t the fashion statement that the Met Gala hoped for, but it was certainly a statement. A true display of America.

Outside of the Met Gala, around 30 people who participated in a nonviolent protest were brutally attacked and arrested by the NYPD. Prior to the protest, this group shared flyers that read, “The NYPD has a total financial allocation of $11 billion per year. This money goes towards racist policing that destroys black and brown communities while people who are struggling do not get the resources they need. CARE, not COPS, is the answer.” I suppose if you can count on America for one thing, it’s to be predictable and consistent.

While representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez decided to make a statement with her “tax the rich” dress, I believe a braver one was made by those not invited to the Met Gala.

I would’ve enjoyed seeing AOC joining these protesters and taking a true stand against capitalism, whereas she simply enjoyed the fruits of it. Ironically, I think that AOC wearing a “tax the rich” dress while partaking in the festivities of “the rich” that she appears to stand against is a perfect example of how America operates.

Now I see why I’ve always found the Met Gala to be so mesmerizing. Oftentimes, America likes to hide under the guise of being for the people and supporting us while shoving their ancient laws and inherently racist ways into our faces. 

America is a nation that is bleeding and absolutely fed up! We’re not going to continue to watch our people be killed, beaten, and wrongfully detained. We want real change, not another political leader doing publicity stunts.

Indya Moore said it perfectly on Instagram, “We organize millions for a museum, on stolen land that Black and brown people suffer on unless white supremacy thinks they are exceptional — but not for the people? Can’t we be substantially generous in ways that alleviate suffering and poverty?… I am surprised that I was invited and I am grateful for the gesture and I want us to be more sincerely thoughtful around how we take from people we do not care about, not so we can accept that truth, but so that we can grow the heart to change it.” Moore also stated regret for attending the Met Gala.

While millions are raised by the Met Gala and billions are poured into the NYPD, I begin to ponder the lack of resources given to minority communities to excel. I hope that one day our lives can matter as much as those in the 1%. 

Regina Price is a senior at Georgia State University majoring in neuroscience with a pre-medical concentration. She is the current President of STARS, a mental health organization on campus that works to eliminate the stigma! Regina aspires to be a doctor and leave a positive impact on the world with the aid of science. In her spare time, she loves to give back to the community, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy various forms of art.
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