In the name of “Fashion”

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As I sit on my bed, wearing my $12 pyjama set from Kmart, I sit in jealousy watching Kylie Jenner, who is my own age, flaunt her body and fame on the red carpet. It’s that time of year again. It’s the Met Gala 2018. This year’s theme: Heavenly bodies: Fashion and the Catholic imagination.  I didn’t know what to expect. Veils? Gold? Jewels? But what I saw, is something that woke an inner rage within my body. And where did it begin? Rihanna.

At first, I didn’t know how to feel. Was I missing something? Did I fall and hit my head, and miss the part where it became socially acceptable to wear the most sacred item in the Catholic church, the Papal hat, as fashion? In case you missed it, Rihanna entered the event wearing a bejewelled papal hat, as an accessory to her busty, tight dress. The Catholic voice in my head was outraged, but I couldn’t stop watching. Who knew what would come next?

Rhianna at the MET Gala 2018: Getty Images

The MET is renowned for throwing one of the greatest and most iconic nights in fashion history. For seventy years, the world has watched on as the A-Listers of Hollywood gather on the red carpet for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. Attending the ball will set you back about $30,000, so is it really worth it?

Was this theme patronising to the Catholic religion?

The internet has stated that the Met 2018 was the “best dress code of all time”. As a practising Catholic, when I caught wind of this, my jaw hit the ground faster than the time I saw Rihanna flaunt her bare chest on the red carpet in 2014 at the CFDA Awards.

Let’s turn the table on this. What would the reaction have had been if Kim Kardashian entered the Gala wearing a hijab? Would we be sitting here praising her as the “queen of fashion”, or would we be belittling her for her ignorance? Personally, I know that the answer is the latter. And that really angers me. 

Ariana Grande entered the event wearing a dress that had paintings of Jesus plastered down her gown.

Ariana Grande MET Gala 2018: Getty Images

No one blinked an eye.

Sarah-Jessica Parker wore a headpiece that had figurines that mirrored the sacred nativity scene.

Sarah-Jessica Parker MET Gala 2018: Getty Images

No one blinked an eye.

Nicki Minaj dressed as the devil.

Nicki Minaj MET Gala 2018: Getty Images

No one blinked an eye.

Pauline Hanson walked into Parliament house wearing a burka.

Pauline Hanson in a burka at Parliament House: Fortune Images

Australia went crazy.

Every year there are hundreds of events that happen in the fashion week calendar. The Catholic religion is arguably one of the most important religions worldwide. With parishioners in nearly every country, it would be a struggle to find someone who didn’t know about the customs of Catholicism. The Catholic religion is not something that can be paraded whenever. The holiest symbol in our religion, the crucifix, is easily one of the most popular accessories for anyone interested in fashion. Singers; actors; twelve-year-old girls at parties; rappers, and even the cool mum down the street will have worn the symbol on their body at one time or another, with the intention purely being for fashion, and not for religious reasons. But no-one says anything, because the importance and values behind the symbol have somewhat been lost in our generation.

This MET Gala is not the first time we have seen people portray our religion as a fashion icon. At nearly every Halloween party, there is always one group of girls that decide to dress up in a nun’s outfit and act very unholy. Everyone has a good laugh and moves on with their night. But nobody second guesses their motive behind their outfit.

When visiting places like Dubai, it’s considered taboo for women to wear any clothing that shows too much skin. This is a religious request and most tourists listen and obey. In fact, if you don’t, then you are handed a small card stating that you are dressed inappropriately. Plastered around the entire shopping mall precincts are signs that explicitly show the expectation of dressing and behaviour in public.

So, if it’s acceptable for places like Dubai to ensure there is a strict dress code, why can events like the MET be excused? Why is it okay to use my religion as your fashion muse? This is a classic case of double standards and it’s about time that somebody stands up for our religion.

With all due respect to the designers and the celebrities wearing the garments, I have never been more disgusted by the MET and will not be supporting the event in the future.

Am I crazy or is it all in the name of Fashion? I wonder what the Pope would think…

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Hi! My name is Kate Lentini and I am a student journalist at Deakin University. I have a passion for reporting and love to write on a range of different topics. I hope you enjoy reading my work, as much as I have enjoyed creating them for you!

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