Dear Met Gala attendees: Dhani wrote a really helpful, thoughtful piece about how not to be culturally insensitive at the Chinese-themed event this year. Some of you apparently missed it.
As the behind-the-scenes Instagram pictures started rolling in, I checked in with my friend and fellow Fashionista contributor, Fawnia, who is Chinese American, about her thoughts on some of the beauty looks people chose for the formal affair on Monday night. First question I asked: "Um, are cat eyes racist?" Her answer: "Not on a normal day, but today YES. Does no one get it? All of my childhood traumas are coming back to me."
Let's delve a little deeper, shall we?
Cheryl: I think this is the most blatant example, but there are too many other ones to count.
Fawnia: That's a pretty bold cat-eye. There's also something geisha-like about it, which pisses me off even more. I grew up in the non-diverse Midwestern suburbs and had to suffer through other kids taunting me on the playground, pulling their eyes back toward their temples to mimic a "slanty-eyed Asian" stereotype. They were probably also supplementing the gesture with some sort of ignorant "ching chong" chant.
Cheryl: How and why did chopsticks in hair even become a thing?
Fawnia: It's funny (like in a "this is stupid" way, not "haha" way) because I was talking to someone earlier who was joking that an attendee might wear chopsticks in her hair. And then it happened. Why can't people just ignore the theme, like they did last year?
Update: Based on red carpet images, it appears that Emma Roberts removed the chopsticks from her hair.
Cheryl: SJP always really runs away with the theme, and she loves a dramatic headpiece.
Fawnia: Why is it not OK to wear a Native American headdress as a fashion accessory (even though people do), but this is fine? All I know is that I never wore anything like that to my Greater Chinese Association cultural day performances. I mean, I realize this is fashion and it's an "interpretation," but it's a culture, people.
Thank you, Alexa
Cheryl: This is an extreme cat eye, too. Alexa looks fantastic.
Fawnia: She gets a pass because cat eyes are her thing. Plus her dad is three-quarters Chinese.
And there you have it. Why these looks are offensive, in four easy pictures.