This year’s Met Gala was, frankly, mediocre. The theme “Heavenly Bodies” rendered the blood-laden and utterly polemic history of Catholicism fair game for a glorious exhibit of appropriation. Yet it was only Rihanna, Zendaya, Chadwick Boseman, Greta Gerwig, Lena Waithe and Solange who adhered to the theme of the Gala. The fact that only one man showed up in anything remotely Catholic (Chadwick Boseman), as well as the absolute overabundance of angels made for a mundane display of tame and censored religious iconography. Where was the blood and flesh? Where was the stigmata? I wanted to see ugly Catholic school uniforms and full-on Cardinal regalia. All I got was a middling pageant of fluffy angels and prom couples. If it is not clear yet, I was not impressed by this year’s Met Gala. It could have been so much more dramatic. The potential was infinite. But, just like Jesus, it was poorly executed.
However, I may be able to forgive this year’s disappointment on one condition and one condition only: next year’s Met Gala has to be cowboy-themed. Maybe it is time we go back to basics. This is where my brilliant idea comes in: cowboys. The avant-garde fashion is there to back it up, the concept has depth and everyone loves cowboys.
It seems the main problem with the Catholic-themed Met Gala was that attendees took it too subtly, as if the theme were “Papal Essence” instead of “Heavenly Bodies.” The thing about a cowboy theme is that it is nearly impossible to perform it with any degree of subtlety. You either show up fully Westworld-ed out or you do not show up at all. I think most of us were disillusioned with high expectations only to be served bland and vaguely Catholic incarnations. A cowboy-themed Gala would demand full attention to detail from the designers and celebrities. We would be blessed with visions of paisley, denim, plaid and leather. Voices would be drowned out amid the clatter of silver and gold and brass belt buckles. I want to see Louboutin do a goddamn knee-high cowboy boot with spurs and I want to see Rihanna wear said Louboutin knee-high cowboy boot with spurs.
Let’s face it. Cowboys are provocative. Their heretical, hedonistic aesthetic arouses the attention of even the most discriminating human beings. Is that not what the Met Gala needs? The Catholic theme had so much potential to be provocative. There was potential for crucifix reenactments, Papal drama, that Cardinal who is on trial in Australia currently and so much more. But with the theme of “Heavenly Bodies,” the easy way out is to opt for one of the more modest and unimaginative denominations of Christianity and hope no one notices the suspicious lack of transubstantiation. And while there are rhinestone cowboys, space cowboys, goth cowboys and rodeo cowboys, you would be hard pressed to find an unassuming or simple cowboy. So this is my plea to all those with ears willing to listen: next year’s Met Gala would go down in infamy as the greatest event of all time if only the theme was cowboy. Take notes, Anna Wintour.