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Fashion's biggest night is not the Oscars or the Grammys. It's the Met Ball, a
fundraising gala and a who's who of top fashionistas.
This year the
theme was, "China: Through the Looking Glass" and, if you happened
to be there, you'd be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rihanna,
Kanye West and Sarah Jessica Parker. Barely-there dresses
had a major moment, as worn by Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim
Kardashian. Predictably, the images whipped social media into a
While many reactions
were pure adulation, one interesting criticism was lobbed at Beyonce,
who wore a risqué Givenchy dress made of mesh and strategically
placed jewels. The naysayers claimed it wasn't right for her to wear
that dress because she's a mom. Here's a sampling of the comments:
Beyonce shouldn't be mad if her daughter does the same thing! I get that you're an entertainer but you're also a mother.
I think the
criticism is unfair for a few reasons.
First, being a mother doesn't
mean you lose your identity. She is Beyoncé, a world-class
entertainer and provocateur. Why would she have to give up her persona (or even tame
it down) because, somewhere, little Blue Ivy Carter is playing with
diamond-encrusted blocks or whatever it is that toddlers of the
mega-wealthy do? Next, she wasn't with her daughter at the event—it's not
like she showed up to storytime wearing nothing but jewels. Finally, staying in the spotlight is part of her job and everyone is talking about this dress, so we can't really blame
her for doing her job well.
If I wanted to see mom clothes, I'd look in the mirror on a Wednesday evening.
Could Beyoncé have
shown up in a high fashion ensemble that covered her body more? Yes.
In fact, the best dressed woman of the night was arguably Rihanna,
who looked like an empress in a dramatically long fur-trimmed yellow
coat by Chinese designer Guo Pei.
But should Beyoncé have to do it
solely because she's a mother? I don't think so. Staying true to yourself is a good lesson to impart on your children. In her song, "Run the World (Girls)," she praises women for being "Strong enough to bear the children / Then get back to business."
This is just Beyoncé handling her business.
I do think it's fair
to judge her fashion choices by the same standards you'd apply to any other Met Ball attendee: creativity, good taste and one's interpretation of the night's
theme. Beyoncé's dress didn't seem to capture the theme at all and, in that sense, the dress failed even though she looked marvelous
in it. Additionally, the sheer dress trend is also a little tired by now. In
fact, Beyoncé's worn variations of sheer dresses for three
consecutive Met Balls.
But expecting her to
dress more conservatively at a fashion event because she's a mom feels wrong. The Met Gala should inspire and thrill. If I wanted to
see mom clothes, I'd look in the mirror on a Wednesday evening. I
read fashion magazines and follow fashion events now that I'm a
mother for the same reasons I did before I became one: I like being transported to a more beautiful and stylized world and to feel, even
for a little while, like I'm there too.