06:43 GMT +321 November 2018
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    Singer Rihanna arrives at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala (Met Gala) to celebrate the opening of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., May 7, 2018

    Divine Looks: Catholics Enraged Over 'Religious Appropriation' at Met Gala 2018

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    The Metropolitan Museum event, which was this year titled “Heavenly Bodies,” showcased an astonishingly kinky collection of Catholic clothes and accessories worn by ‘red carpet’ celebrities. Critics soon rushed to condemn the sacrilegious soiree.

    The gala, which is essentially a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, was doomed to incur divine wrath. Despite its theme being linked to sacred religious dogmas, the celebrities put a strong emphasis on sexualizing and thus compromising Catholic values, according to critics, many of whom took to Twitter to voice their indignation.

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    This year’s top fashion event has drawn inspiration from a number of well-known Biblical scenes, such as the Nativity and the Pentecost, as well as other Biblical and religious themes, such as clerical imagery and the everyday life of the clergy.

    Many took this frivolous pageantry for religious appropriation and expressed their annoyance using nearly the same wording, usually making use of expletives to make the message stronger:

    'My religion I Not your…#MetGala outfit'

     

    The phrase was notably borrowed from no-less-indignant Twitter comments triggered by a teenager who wore a traditional Chinese dress to her school’s prom. One tweet read: "My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress," which racked up thousands of likes and was universally retweeted.

    The Met Gala story to a great extent echoed the prom dress one, which was obvious from Twitter reactions.

    Some, having compared the two, say the stories, although they are very much alike, are treated for some reason differently by the same people.

    Others, naturally, opted for comparisons with potential Jewish or Muslim reactions, saying that such groups would never tolerate that kind of blasphemy.

    There were those, however, who laughed it all off, or, alternatively, chose to make non-religious comments:

    ​Lana del Rey, you're my religion. #MetGala pic.twitter.com/wpBKze9nUe

    The Metropolitan Museum and the Vatican reportedly collaborated for over a year to select as many as 40 religious articles as well as Christian art objects for the red carpet display; event curator Andrew Bolton had even reportedly been granted access to the secret chambers where nuns look after papal outfits.

    In essence, it is not the only time the event has been blasted for its profanity or misinterpretation of cultural values. Three years ago, the show’s theme was "China: Through the Looking Glass." On that occasion, some were accused of sexualizing traditional Chinese attire, while some donned kimonos, despite the traditional garments being Japanese. Ultimately, the event was highly-appraised after it had been reiterated that the organizers focused not on Chinese fashion per se, but rather the Asian country’s influence on the West.


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    religious beliefs, Bible, catholics, benefit, event, occasion, gala, Met Gala, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States
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