The Met Gala Has to Stop

 The Met Gala is a night of fashion, food, and wealthy people showing off just how much wealth they have. Each year, a select group of designers is tasked with creating outfits that relate to a theme released by Metropolitan Museum of Art. Each designer then purchases a table at the event and invites celebrities to attend; in exchange for free admission, these celebrities must don the outfits crafted by the designers. In the days after the Gala, many Americans take delight in scrutinizing the outfits that were worn. However, although it provides a distraction to the many problems in the United States, the Met Gala is ultimately unnecessary—here is why. 

Especially during present times, the disgusting overindulgence of this event serves as a stark contrast to the financial difficulties many Americans are presently facing. With tickets costing $35,000 each and tables costing up to $300,000, designers must shell out nearly half a million dollars for this event. Added to this already sky-high price is the cost of the outfits. Met Gala dresses and suits are notoriously extravagant; this year, Kim Kardashian’s dress, which was previously worn by Marilyn Monroe, cost $4.6 million.

Perhaps celebrities can afford to waste their money on something as insignificant as a dress, but the rest of America certainly cannot. Inflation has risen to 8.5 percent—the highest it has been since 1981—meaning that everything is more expensive. Gas prices are projected to reach as much as $5/gallon by the summer of 2022, and food prices have increased by almost 10% since 2021. With such rapidly rising prices, many Americans are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Thus, the indulgence of the Met Gala further reminds Americans of just how bad times currently are. 

One Twitter user asked, “Am I the only one who thinks this year’s Met Gala theme is out of touch? Inequality is at the highest level since the Gilded Age, a pandemic and economic meltdown wrecked us, [and] inflation is out of control.” The user further argued that “this year’s theme is a slap in the face to average Americans.”

Perhaps the Met Gala can redeem itself, though. Surely, all would be forgiven if the $17.4 million raised this year goes to reputable charities to help better the lives of those in need. Unsurprisingly, that is too much to ask for. According to Billboard (, “The money pays for operating the [Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art] and putting on annual blockbuster exhibits.” 

While maintaining historical outfits is certainly important, perhaps it is time to stop trying to preserve the past and start focusing on saving the present. The millions of dollars generated by the Met Gala should be going to charities that directly help those in need; Feeding America, the Salvation Army, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and UNICEF are just a few that the money would be better off donated to. 

And, if it makes any difference, most celebrities who attended the Met Gala this year wore outfits that completely disregarded the Gilded Age theme. According to the American Museum of Natural History (, the Gilded Age was “an ironic comment on the difference between a true golden age and their present time, a period of booming prosperity in the United States that created a class of the super-rich.” Considering all aforesaid arguments, the theme was on-point this year; the Met Gala certainly displays the differences between the lives of the rich and the average American.

Aside from this, the Gilded Age occurred from 1870 to 1900—think monopolies, trusts, and rich men with canes and top hats. Now, does a neon-pink jacket, pants, and shoes seem like it fits the bill? This outfit, donned by Sebastian Stan, was one of the many that completely disregarded this year’s theme. Added to this list is Kylie Jenner’s wedding dress with backwards baseball cap, Irina Shayk’s leather biker outfit, and Kodi Smit-McPhee’s red gloves and jeans. While not necessarily the fault of the celebrities, the utter lack of regard for the Gilded Age theme truly illustrates how the Met Gala has become a personal playground for rich designers who get to play dress-up—just a very, very expensive version of it.

 Thus, there are two options for the future of the Met Gala: donate the money from events to charity (and a little respect for the theme would be nice, too), or do not hold it at all. It merely distracts Americans—and, frankly, the rest of the world—from just how bad the economy is in the United States, and it even reaches the level of mocking the plight of those who are struggling. Celebrities should be using their money to help such people, not to attend extravagant events that ultimately do nothing to help the world.