Kylie Jenner’s look has drawn comparisons to Homer Simpson (screenshot Valentina Di Liscia/Hyperallergic via @CallMeElliott_)

Last year’s Met Gala came on the heels of an abortion ban in Texas, so it seems terrible and fitting that yesterday’s sequel to the two-part gala theme “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” coincided with a leaked SCOTUS draft opinion framed to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The fact that a progressive stripping of basic reproductive rights seems to annually coincide with one of the most ridiculous and distracting red carpet event tells you everything you need to know about the United States right now. Faced with an encroaching forced-birth state, we must organize, vote, stockpile abortion pills, and draw solace in the only way we know how: By reviewing the 2022 Met Gala memes, which have become the new gold standard of cultural production and the country’s only remaining export.

This year’s theme called for gilded-age glamour and glitz, which feels extremely topical as most of us enter year three of wearing nothing but stained pajama bottoms. Perhaps the emphasis on corsetry reflected a subconscious need for more support, because at this point even standing up is becoming a bit of an ordeal. Normally, the nature of corsets would be restrictive, but since all of us are breathing shallowly to offset panic attacks anyway, they are the perfect fashion trend for the moment.

Marie Antoinette was both glamorous and said “let them eat cake,” so perhaps that’s the energy Camila Cabello aimed for with this look, which she’s maybe wearing backwards?

Cabello can’t be the only one whose stylist was screaming at the television, as Kodi Smit-McPhee made the scene in this absolutely baffling look.

Seemingly determined to make the Met Gala highlights reel, Sebastian Stan showed up in a radioactive pink outfit inspired by a literal highlighter. Though in fairness, he should receive at least half-credit for not falling back on the default gala look favored by 90% of male attendees.

Stan wasn’t the only one drawing inspiration from Barbie this year. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, two of the gala’s co-chairs, did a perfect send-up of history’s most iconic couple with smoothed-over genital areas.

And it seems as though Kylie Jenner was also looking to an icon of Americanism for her look, which has drawn comparisons to Homer Simpson and to every single office break room.

For whatever reason, meme warriors mistook Fredrik Robertersson trapped inside a robotic exoskeleton for Jared Leto, but given Leto’s actual look on the red carpet, a degree of confusion about his identity seems warranted.

The evening saw fewer political statements than past Met Galas — and why not? It’s not like there’s anything threatening the very fabric of society at the moment, haha! — but Alton Mason did make a public demonstration of support for efforts on the part of Condé Nast employees to unionize.

As we nervously anticipate the death of democracy, it is good to know that snarking on celebrity outfits that cost more than the median annual household income still serves as panacea. Ultimately, we can only win by refusing to play the game, as queen-in-absentia Ashley Tisdale demonstrated, in a tweet that shows she’s the only one who actually understands American fashion.

And, finally:

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Sarah Rose Sharp

Sarah Rose Sharp is a Detroit-based writer, activist, and multimedia artist. She has shown work in New York, Seattle, Columbus and Toledo, OH, and Detroit —...

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