The Met Gala might have been asking for a little bit of controversy with tonight’s theme. The current exhibition at the Costume Institute in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently one that celebrates Catholicism. Entitled "Heavenly Bodies," the exhibit explores how religion has influenced fashion over the centuries and vice versa. But asking a bunch of celebrities to dress up in support of a religion they might not believe in (or which has persecuted them) is a little dicey. That’s why Lena Waithe’s outfit and the tweets about Lena Waithe’s 2018 Met Gala look showed that one could take the theme and twist it around to their own ends.
As most are probably aware, Lena Waithe, a television writer, and actress, is open about her LGBT status. Her first Emmy win, which came last year was for Best Writing for a Comedy Series for an episode of Master of None, in which she used her personal experience of coming out to her family to inform an episode entitled "Thanksgiving," where her character did the same. She was the first black woman to win in this category, marking it as a historical moment, both in LGBT rights and racial and gender equality.
Waithe is exactly the type of person who might have easily been excused from paying attention to the theme. She prefers to sport suits on the red carpet, and no one would have looked twice if she’d simply opted for black tie. Instead, she wore this.
A rainbow pride flag, sewn onto the jacket of her suit. Twitter was so proud.
For some, this was the return of capes as a fashion statement, conveniently ignoring the rainbow flag and it’s implications.
But others knew what this was right away. This was Lena Waithe repping for gay pride at an event with a theme that celebrates a religion that refuses to recognize her as a full person.
For some, this was an iconic moment to be celebrated and rejoiced over.
Other simply declared her on par with the greats. A Greatest of All Time Moment.
For some, this was on par with a superhero straight out of the Marvel comic books. The costume is certainly bright enough, and the suit under it is totally practical for beating up bad guys in. Just ask James Bond.
Netflix, please get on making a show about Lena Waithe, Marvel Superhero forthwith. It can come out after Luke Cage Season 2 does.
For some, this called for instant memeing.
While others looked forward to the shocked faces of the attendees, though from the photos, there didn’t seem to be all that many. (Shocked faces that is.)
For some, this was their religion and a good take on it too. If the theme was "Heavenly Bodies" and to express one’s own religion, then Lena fulfilled the brief admirably.
For others, this was the biggest middle finger anyone could have done for the theme.
But I think my actual personal favorite tweeted image of the night of Lena Waithe wasn’t from the front. It was someone attempting to get a photo of the actress who was on the other side of the carpet attempting to pose as if that wasn’t happening behind her.
Dead Dakota, I’m very proud of your professionalism in this moment, but, seriously, just turn around and acknowledge that’s happening. Because no one is looking at you right now.
Whatever controversy follows Lena’s outfit for the evening, it will be well worth it. This is a "Met Gala Red Carpet Moment" and one that people will be talking about for years to come.
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