Big stars strutted the red carpet at the 2019 Met Gala Monday and many did so wearing daring ensembles. But some celebrities decided to take their looks one step further — by challenging gender norms.
Men wore sheer fabrics, makeup and skintight outfits, while women donned suits and more traditional “masculine”wear that fit in with the theme of the event and exhibit: “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” And these looks don’t just look beautiful in photographs; they can help young people struggling with their gender identity and stereotypes.
The CBSN Originals documentary “Gender: The Space Between” showcases a group of non-binary youth and explores what it means to identify as something beyond he or she. The piece also shines a light on the risk many young people take just to express how they feel on the inside.
“It takes tremendous courage to be that person because you’re going to incur stares, bullying and harassment,”said sj Miller, of NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, in a 2017 article.”You may face discrimination at school, in the workplace, even access to social spaces. Walking down the street, heads are gonna turn because people can’t identify you, and that’s very scary to what we call ‘gender typical’ people.”
For transgender and gender non-conforming youth, seeing their favorite celebrity celebrated for wearing something outside the norm for their prescribed gender may signal that they are, in fact, fine just they way they are.
1. Harry Styles
Harry Styles, who was one of the gala’s five co-hosts this year, wore a sheer, black Gucci blouse with large bow. “I think fashion is supposed to be fun,” he told Liza Koshy in a Vogue interview posted on YouTube. “And I think it’s a good time for that right now, people being who they are and stuff.”
2. Danai Gurira
“Avengers: Endgame” star Danai Gurira wore a gender-bending ensemble featuring a top hat, cane, jumpsuit and a long cape. She tweeted her “inspiration” for the look Monday night, “Me and Oscar Wilde, my inspiration for the evening: the dandy reimagined.” The actress also included a photo of a painting of the legendary writer, wearing a similar ensemble, that is on display in what appears to be the Met.
3. Jared Leto
Actor Jared Leto donned an ensemble, literally dripping in gems. He wore a striking red dress with a front slit, covered in jewels. The ensemble was designed by Alessandro Michele for Gucci, according to Vogue. In addition to his non-conformative outfit, Leto brought along a peculiar accent piece — a replica of his very own head.
4. Kristen Stewart
The 29-year-old actress, who has dated both women and men, wore a punk-inspired androgynous ensemble. Her short hair was bleached at the roots and dyed orange at the tips. She also dyed her eyebrows light blonde. The star wore white wide-leg trousers and a sequined black top, designed by Chanel.
5. Darren Criss
Golden Globe winner Darren Criss went for a bedazzled look — and stunning makeup. The “Glee” actor sported bright blue nails, as well as blue eyeshadow on the Met Gala’s red carpet. He also rocked a bedazzled jacket, with a black ensemble beneath and a giant bow poking out from under his outerwear.
6. Janelle Monáe
The singer, actress and activist wore a Picasso-esque ensemble to the Met Gala. The look, designed by Christian Siriano, featured four hats stacked atop each other. Her dress, which was sewn to appear split in two, had two completely different styles — one more traditionally masculine and one accentuating her feminine side. One side was a high-neck black and white style, while the other was a bedazzled bra, beaded to look like an eye — complete with a feather eyelash.
The star identifies as pansexual and has been outspoken of her support of those in the LGBTQ community. She dedicated her 2018 album “Dirty Computer,” to LGBTQ people struggling with their identity.
7. Billy Porter
Billy Porter knows how to make an entrance. He was carried on to the red carpet by six shirtless men atop a gold litter. The Tony winner wore a jaw-dropping ancient Egyptian ensemble featured golden wings, which fanned out when he opened his arms, a golden body suit and a headpiece. The “Kinky Boots” performer tweeted his look, which was designed by The Blonds, was “Old Testament Realness.”