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2024 Met Gala

I’m raising my voice

By Brin J.Published about a month ago 5 min read
Top Story - May 2024
*Unsplash* kalae-morgan

*Disclaimer: Not my usual content. I never post controversial things.

I waited until I was calm and sound of mind before posting this. Yes, I made it in bitterness, which is already out of character for me. Usually, I write a vague poem to express my emotions, but I wanted to say something about this. So, I told myself if I still felt like I needed to get this off my chest come evening, then I'd post it.

Some of you might have a difference of opinion, and that's fine. I'm just using my very small platform and small voice to express some triggering matters for not just myself, but thousands of people in the U.S. right now.*

At first, I didn't care.

Whatever, another event for celebrities to parade around in bizarre outfits and make a mockery of themselves.

Until this:

"Let them eat cake."

Those words have triggered the wrath of a majority of the lower class.

The celebrities aren't making a mockery of themselves this year.

They're mocking us.

Sorry, let me backtrack.

For those who don't know, the Met Gala is an exclusive charity event where celebrities pay thousands of dollars to dress up in outlandish costumes centered on a theme. Witnessing the creative ideas that celebrities and stylists come up with is usually entertaining, but this year it was a shock to many. Infuriating, even.

If you're thinking, well, it's going to charity, so it must be good.

The beneficiary of the proceeds is the Metro Museum of Arts and Costume Institute (which is where the Met Gala is held). More than $543 million dollars are going to fund costumes, when there are homelessness, schools, healthcare, and other humanitarian organizations to give those donations to.

That's issue number one.

Number two is this year's Met Gala theme was The Garden of Time, which is a short story written in 1962 by J.G. Ballard.

The story goes:

There once was a Count and Countess who lived in luxury and wealth. They had a unique garden where magical flowers grew that, when plucked, could alter time. The villa they lived in was a grand, majestic retreat secluded from society, with the sun shining directly on their mansion and boasting the scent of clean air. Unlike the expanse beyond their property, where there was nothing but a dull, open plane devoid of any signs of life.

As the couple were taking a stroll in their garden, blissfully enjoying its richness, they spotted a mob of angry people marching in their direction. Not just soldiers, but civilians, too; men and women.

When the horde reached an uncomfortable proximity to the couple's property, the Count picked one of his magical flowers, and the flock of people was yanked back as time reversed.

Only the mob kept coming.

And so, the Count repeated the process, picking another flower, and another, and another. Each time, the throng would come back, bigger and advancing faster.

The abundance of magical flowers, emblematic of the couple's timeless lives, was rapidly becoming sparse. It wasn't long before all that was left was one, and the couple knew their time had come.

As the horde finally breached their parameters, time eventually caught up with the Count and his wife. Their once lush and grand estate crumbled to ruins and was instantly overtaken by a tangled mass of thorn bushes.

What became of the Count and the Countess?

They had turned to stone.

So, now that you know the story, let's go back to the 2024 Met Gala.

Symbolism at its finest, wouldn't you agree?

Each celebrity had either dressed as the timeless garden or as the Count or Countess.

Do you think they knew what they were doing?

Do you think they realized the message they were sending, demonstrating where they stood in this story? Stood to society?

Do you think they were intentionally mocking and provoking us?

Part of me wonders if they're aware of the tragic resolution to that story... because it doesn't end well for them.

Issue number three:

"Let them eat cake."

Infamous quote.

Who was attributed to those words again?

Oh, right. Marie Antoinette. A cold and unsympathetic response after hearing about her people suffering from starvation.

Hmm, and what happened to her?

.

.

.

I think you all know where I'm going with this.

Say what you will about the event, but there's no defending the celebrities after that. It's clear as day that they're mocking us.

Little did Haylee Baylee realize the chaos she would create by using that expression, and all because she wanted content to promote her Marie Anoitnette-inspired attire at the Met Gala. It was distasteful.

If you think this is bad, just wait.

It gets worse.

Photo cred: Getty Images & Lionsgate

Photo cred: Getty Images & Lionsgate

Photo Cred: Lionsgate & Getty Images

(Left is Ballad of Song Birds & Snakes Premier: Prequel to Hunger Games) Photo Cred: Gerald Matzka, Getty Images

They're literally in the same dress!

Photo cred: Getty Images & Lionsgate

Hmm, let's play spot the similarities.

There are so many more outfits that seem to be inspired by the Capital from The Hunger Games that I didn't share, but you can find them on Vogue. This isn't the first time people have noticed similarities between the movie and reality. I'll admit that. However, with the theme, the influencer promoting Marie Antoinette, and the Hunger Games parallels, it feels like a major fuck you to the lower class.

Our economy is in the trash, food prices have gone up, companies aren't hiring, and a lot of us are barely scraping by to keep a roof over our heads. And where do they decide these millions from the event should go? Costumes.

While these celebrities might not be our government and therefore aren't responsible for our suffering, they do have influence. They knew where the money they were donating was going. Do they care? Doesn't look like it. What are they choosing to do with the elevated platforms that fans helped them earn? They decide to attend an event where the theme is the clash of social classes, expressing their stance in their costumes, and telling us to eat cake.

People are fuming. People are retaliating. They're blocking every celebrity, sponsor, fashion designer, and any other brand that attended or promoted the event.

The movement isn't just to riot about the unfairness of their fame and wealth. It’s not about envy, or greed. It’s about history repeating itself. It’s about turning a blind eye to society’s issues, and mocking it by playing dressing up at a bougie event. It's to give them a taste of their own "cake".

Are we still living in the U.S.? Because I feel like we should be calling it Panem.

Anyway, that's my rant. I'd like for this to reach more people so they can join the blocking movement, but even if this reaches one or two people, I’m glad I said my part.

HistoricalPop CultureHumanity

About the Creator

Brin J.

I have a few stories and poems inside me that I want to share. Maybe, if I'm lucky, they'll reach people who'll enjoy them. 📖

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Comments (16)

  • Sally A18 days ago

    Incredible article! You did a fantastic job of describing and highlighting just how out of touch these celebrities can be. It really shows how blatantly they display their disconnect from reality. Great read. Keep up the excellent work!

  • angela hepworthabout a month ago

    Not to pile onto hating that poor rich girl influencer right now, but I was gobsmacked when I heard about the whole let them eat cake thing. It’s almost comically tone deaf and classist. Like kp said, this is late stage capitalism rearing its ugly head. Poignant piece here.

  • Mark Grahamabout a month ago

    Hope you feel better now? There are so many issues out there and we should all share our sides. Good work and congrats.

  • Anna about a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • Gerard DiLeoabout a month ago

    I, too, was as angry like you are now. I get it. My contempt for the Kardashians knew no bounds. Until I realized it was my fault. These people enjoy the fruits of our labors because we willingly hand them over. They are only accepting money people are willing to give them. Fame and notoriety create a twisted type of capitalism, where equity is fame, likes, and influence, to get us to act as their star-struck bankers. Every time you buy a People magazine with a picture of Kanye being Kanye; or fawn over JLo; or pay Netflix for holding a roast for Tom Brady attended by multimillionaires guffawing over private jokes in their private lives, these very private people are getting your money. You are giving it to them. And they are happy to take it, very privately. No rich celebrity can be a celebrity if they don't "sell" successfully to you, and for that to happen, you have to be willing to buy it from them. Perhaps a boycott of these participants is a noble idea, but it shouldn't stop at the Calvin Klein level--it should also be at the People magazine level, the "Real Housewives" level, and the E! News level. At some level, wherever you draw the line, if you're looking to be entertained, you're going to be giving someone your money. And if you're willing to give it, then they should be able to take it. All the money they get has rolled uphill from "we the little people."

  • There's also an argument to make that within the US, there is a bit of a power struggle between the Rich and the Government. I've talked about it from a business perspective, but it is playing out there as well. I believe there will be a "significant" fallout if things do not change in the near future, and it will not be pretty. The symbolism is almost too synchronistic... we will see what comes of it. Thank you for sharing your perspective Brin!

  • Sonia Heidi Unruhabout a month ago

    I appreciate your boldness and insight. The irony is confounding, but hardly surprising. Rooting for the change movement.

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Powerful writing. Important observations. Rant on! The points you've made a timely, relevant, and well argued. I do not buy into the celebrity culture. I don't follow influencers. I try not to rant in my writing. And I've seen the wealth gap from the beginning of my days and expect it'll be here until the end (of me, us all, etc.). Hunger Games, The Raffle, and other stories like those resonate and gain traction because we see it in society. These stories arise to tell us about ourselves and our societies. The story is as old as time. It's just rare that the powerful put it so fully, unabashedly, and unequivocally on display. What springs to mind for me is, why now Met Gala? What's the bigger agenda? I have my answers in mind, of course, but I'll leave it to others to decide for themselves. Again, powerful piece I'm glad I took the time to read and reply to. Thought provoking -- which all great writing is, in my opinion. Congratulations on Top Story. 🥳

  • The Dani Writerabout a month ago

    This is coming from a GOOD place...rants for you (in this case) are effective. In the course of the many stories that I was going to delay reading on the landing page when I opened my Vocal account, yours grabbed me from the start. The message: Compelling. Just. How many ways can I say that I am so glad that you wrote this the WAY you wrote it. I don't "do" celebrities. Barely had a few when I was a teen, musicians mostly and other creatives cuz that was my jam, but no idolizing on my part, and I was not even a small contributor to their fortunes. I believe everyone has a responsibility and commitment to each other on this big fading blue ball we live on. And there are many of us desperately struggling in our respective corners. How can one human being not help another? Until your article, I knew nothing about the event you mentioned, but can easily see how that is beyond adding insult to injury for the masses who are suffering due to not having the bare minimum for survival. The 'Garden of Time' story ending is a veritable prophecy unfolding of the ball that has been dropped on multiple occasions and a people conveniently invisible in plain sight. Oh, what a little or big rant can do! Thank you for ranting/writing! This so needed to be a top story and I will share it as many times as I can, with as much compassion as I can..

  • Manisha Dhalaniabout a month ago

    I've read a lot of opinions on this year's Gala, but this is by far one of the most interesting one. I'm shaken up by the points you've put across. Makes me think that we really need to stop and analyse the type of content we consume these days. Thank you for sharing this points.

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    This whole thing passed me by, but now I'm gripped. Incredible. Have any of them turned round and acknowledged it as inappropriate?

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    A charity event that I don't follow and with extreme wealth comes extreme stupidity.

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    Honestly it’s obvious as hell that Hollywood is a rats nest of Monsters, rapists, murderers and worse, pedos and groomers. Most of these people sell their souls literally and metaphorically to achieve ghastly success and fame, as we all know this but still have their wealth on display and watch their movies, shows, etc. I wouldn’t wish Hollywood on anyone I love

  • Davina Zinn McKeeabout a month ago

    Why are you mad at wealthy citizens instead of the government? Genuine question. Because this reads like a desire for communism. The issue is not people spending their money the way they desire to. It’s all the taxpayers money getting sent overseas. And I think the idea of celebrities mocking us at that event is a huge reach. I know the inspiration behind many of those outfits, including Zendaya’s, because the designers shared that with those who are interested in fashion. I never thought I’d see the day conspiracy theories make the front page on a site for “creators” in a hit piece against the arts.

  • kpabout a month ago

    we are and have been living in the U.S.' colonial fever dream. this is late-stage capitalism at its finest. thank you so much for sharing this important essay and bringing attention to our class disparities and the urgency of our current situation. powerful writing and important points. stellar work! congrats on top story :)

  • G. A. Boteroabout a month ago

    Thank you for writing this. I had not followed the event enough to make the class warfare connection but it fits. My beef was with these folks celebrating in their social island while children are dying in Palestine and all over the world. Not to mention the global issues we are facing like the environment, poverty, and the disorder we are experiencing in society. I share your rage. Students are treated like criminals while criminals get their court dates postponed. Injustice is everywhere and these ballooned rich and famous drink their champagne and raise money to entertain themselves.

Brin J.Written by Brin J.

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