This generation has altered the way we define celebrities. Before, celebrities were considered influencers but influencers were never considered celebrities. Now, we see a shift in that definition with social media influencers getting their own shows, branding themselves as professional business owners, and being invited to the biggest events in the year.
This week has been a long one for A-listers. With New York Fashion Week, the VMA’s, and now an ethereal Met Gala last night with a theme celebrating American fashion. Those included on the exclusive celebrity guest list and their outfits are always the main focus of the event, but this year has been much more controversial than before.
All of the co-hosts at this year’s event are Gen Z for the first time in the gala’s history: pop star Billie Eilish, actor Timothée Chalamet, tennis player Naomi Osaka, and poet Amanda Gorman. The more questionable invites stem from the attendance of 7 social media influencers. While their presence was mildly questionable, their outfits were the real topic of conversation.
Addison Rae, who has a following of over 84 million on the platform, has recently turned to acting and is branding herself in all different fields of social media and television. She has just starred in the Netflix movie “He’s All That” and signed a multi-film contract with the company. Rae arrived at The Met in a vintage Tom Ford for Gucci gown from 2003. She matched the red dress with a bright blond lob for her first Met Gala appearance. Rae’s dress was pretty disappointing to audiences considering the shock factor behind her attendance in the first place.
One viral tweet imagined a conversation for when perennial gala guest Lady Gaga runs into Rae at the event. “Waitress can you get me champagne?” Gaga asks. Rae responds, “I’m Addison Rae.” To which Gaga says, “Okay Addison Rae get me some champagne.” But Rae shook off the hate, tweeting back, “I would do anything for you @ladygaga.
at the met gala: pic.twitter.com/nydcSNPu6G
— ricolore (@truthfullyfacts) August 23, 2021
YouTuber Emma Chamberlain is a 20-year-old known for her unique editing and quirky personality. Over the years she’s taken a more serious path in fashion by partnering with Louis Vuitton for a sneaker campaign and modeling for Levi’s.
YouTube star Emma Chamberlain was one of the first celebrities to hit the red carpet at this year’s Met Gala, and she did not come to disappoint. She showed up to the event wearing a golden crystal-studded, asymmetrical Louis Vuitton dress with a triangle cutout. Chamberlain pays homage to the 60’s fashion look with her smoky eye makeup with neon accents and a lob with flipped-out ends.
Jackie Aina is a known social influencer who advocates for the visibility of people of color in the cosmetic industry. Former US Army veteran turned beauty mogul, Jackie became a leading beauty content creator on YouTube since the 2000s. After years of creating content using beauty and self-care products, she acquired a unique aesthetic and wanted to create products based on her passions. In 2020, she launched her own fragrance and perfume company FORVR MOOD.
— Naira Banks (@jackieaina) September 13, 2021
Aina attended The Met in a custom Fe Noel look that was inspired by Barbie. She posed for her photos with her matching pink swan purse and her glamorous makeup. Aina’s look was nothing short of beautiful despite the fact that the pink and red dress/Barbie look was mildly overdone this year.
— Naira Banks (@jackieaina) September 13, 2021
YouTuber Nikkie de Jager, better known to her fans as NikkieTutorials, is a successful beauty guru with over 13 million subscribers. She has been uploading on YouTube since 2008 and recently came out as a transgender woman in an emotional video in January 2020.
The look started with an 18k gold flower crown, leaves and buds created by Digna Gorkovoi, and handmade silk flowers and beading. Her beautiful teal blue dress was made by Edwin Oudshoorn Couture. NikkieTutorials’ look was inspired by LGBTQ+ activist Marsha P. Johnson as she hoped to pay homage to the trans icon that paved the way for many after her. This look was absolutely stunning and entirely encapsulated the theme of the night. Audiences at the Met and watching at home were more than surprised to see Nikkie nail the theme so well.
Beer is an American singer, songwriter, and internet personality. She began posting covers to YouTube in early 2012 and gained substantial media coverage when Justin Bieber posted a link to one of her covers on his account. Since then she’s been teetering on the line of a professional singer and internet star, working hard to break out of the influencer bubble and into a celebrity one.
22-year-old musician Madison Beer showed up to the Met Gala in a long, emerald green mermaid dress by One/Of by Patricia Voto. She was barely recognizable in this green gown inspired by American icon Marilyn Monroe on the Met Gala red carpet. While she and her look were stunning as always, her outfit was entirely forgettable.
Eugene Lee Yang
Eugene Lee Yang is an American filmmaker, actor, producer, author, director, activist, and internet celebrity, best known for being one-fourth of the YouTube group The Try Guys and his work with BuzzFeed. He absolutely shocked audiences with his attendance floored them even more with his look.
Men don’t have a great track record at The Met, usually showing up in black or white suits and calling it a day. Yang, while attending in a black Dior suit, really showed personality through his hot pink heels and eyeshadow. The makeup acted as a nice contrast to his outfit and made his whole aesthetic a lot more interesting.
Dixie D’Amelio is an American social media personality and singer known for her videos on the social media platform TikTok. D’Amelio is the elder of the D’Amelio sisters.
When TikTok star Dixie D’Amelio attended the prestigious event and her outfit has raised a number of eyebrows. D’Amelio made an entrance with her feathery black headpiece, which was the star in her otherwise understated Valentino look of a black mini-dress and white gloves, which channeled Audrey Hepburn. There’s a lot of mixed opinions about this look considering Valentino invited her to the met gala, meaning she had to wear the controversial headpiece. The question still stands on whether or not the outfit is good or not, but taking inspiration from Hepburn does make it on the theme.
Dixie is supposed to be recreating Audrey Hepburn. It’s actually perfect for he met because Audrey was so simplistic but not at the same time. Some ppl just don’t get it and that’s ok 😂
— lea (@Leabutcher21) September 14, 2021
The pushback at incorporating viral influencers into The Met Gala is a valid one. It brings up an interesting question of whether or not their attendance deteriorates the glamour and exclusivity of The Met. Last night, a lot of those influencers were not taken seriously by audiences, but we watched on nonetheless. Our love/hate relationship with social media influencers is an uphill battle and The 2021 Met Gala just made it a whole lot more apparent.