‘Cultural Appropriation’ Crowd Silent about Mock-Catholic #MetGala


Rihanna dressed as the Pope.

A rosary draped around the neck of Taylor Hill, a Victoria’s Secret model.

Sarah Jessica Parker sporting a nativity scene on her head.

For traditional and conservative Catholics, the use of religious iconography for the costumes and accessories of scantily-clad celebs at the 2018 Met Gala was inappropriate at best and blasphemous at worst.

Themed “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” the Met Gala was cosponsored by The Vatican, and the two organizations apparently worked together on the event for a year. While Catholicism has long inspired beautiful pieces of art, religious leaders apparently didn’t consider that Leftist celebrities are more interested in the gaudy than the divine.

I scrolled through the best- and worst-dressed lists this morning and scoffed at the excessive cleavage, the long cutouts, the high slits, and the use of icons as decoration rather than tribute. If these celebrities were hoping to show their respect for Catholicism, they certainly failed.

I actually believe the display was more cringe-worthy than it was offensive, but what struck me the most was how the same Leftists who constantly call out cultural appropriation were celebrating the apparent religious appropriation of the Catholic faith.

People were outraged over the Met Gala’s “China: Through The Looking Glass” theme several years ago and just last week attacked a teenage girl for rocking a Chinese-inspired dress to prom.

But funnily enough, some people are even upset with the Kardashian and Jenner family because they didn’t dress well enough to theme for the Met Gala. Kim opted for a gold dress with cross adornments while sisters Kendall and Kylie both wore monochromatic white and black looks.

For those who don’t follow the Kardashian family, they are almost always being accused of cultural appropriation for things like wearing braids in their hair, sporting Native American headdresses to music festivals, or even just appearing “too black” in photo shoots.

It certainly is interesting that when Catholicism is involved, suddenly the Kardashians aren’t being culturally appropriative enough!

I also wondered if people would be upset if the Met Gala were themed around any other religion besides Christianity. How would progressives react if celebrities were costumed in caricaturized, cleavage-revealing hijabs or burkas? What if they all had bejeweled yarmulkes on their heads instead of nativity scenes?

Turns out we don’t have to wonder at all, because Khloe Kardashian and Madonna have already been trashed for not paying proper respect to the niqab. Rihanna, who not so humbly wore a pope outfit to this year’s Met Gala, was kicked out of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque for taking “inappropriate pictures” in an Arab-inspired outfit.

So what makes Catholicism different? Is it just a case of open hostility on the part of Hollywood toward Christianity?

I assume like a lot of conservative Catholics, I will be annoyed at the Met Gala for about an hour or so before moving on with my life. It’s simply not healthy to be constantly outraged at the ignorance of celebrities.

That being said, I hope Left-leaning people (including Catholics!) will ask themselves why it is fun and fashionable to dress up as Catholics but disrespectful and appropriative to dress as other cultures and religions. The double standard here is simply impossible to ignore.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org


About Author


Amber Athey covers media and breaking news for The Daily Caller and is a columnist for CatholicVote.org. Prior to joining TheDC, Amber reported on instances of liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform and was a member of the 2016-17 Koch Associate Program. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Government and Economics from Georgetown University in 2016. While in school, Amber chaired the GU College Republicans and the Club Field Hockey team. Follow her on Twitter @amber_athey.


  1. Kimberly Barnes on

    As a Catholic, born and raised, I can honestly say that we just don’t care. See as the practicing faith that is allowed beer and wine, we welcome all forms of mimic and merriment.

  2. I think the article is based on a faulty premise, as the Church gave sanction to the event’s use of Catholic iconography.

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