Inside the ‘sweaty’ and ‘cliquey’ truth behind the Met Gala, as told by snubbed celebs

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The stars and their outfits were out in full force for the Met Gala on Monday night.

Despite what the pictures look like, not all the A-listers have the best time at the event.

Demi Lovato once spilled about the experience they had at the Gala, calling it “unpleasant”.

“This one celebrity was a complete b***h and was miserable to be around. It was very cliquey. I remember being so uncomfortable that I wanted to drink,” they previously told Billboard magazine.

The singer isn’t the only one with this perception, and in 2018 Zayn Malik told GQ about his experiences attending the Met Gala after being convinced to go by a former stylist.

Zayn Malik said he would rather be productive at home than attend again
Zayn Malik said he would rather be productive at home than attend again
(Image: WireImage)

He confessed: “Now, it’s not something I would go to. I’d rather be sitting at my house, doing something productive, than dressing up in really expensive clothes and being photographed on a red carpet … To do the self-indulgent ‘Look at me, I’m amazing’ thing on the red carpet, it’s not me.”

Feeling like an outcast at the event was something Madonna’s daughter Lourdes Leon knows too well.

The model recalls being grateful for her invite but she found being “shoved into a room”, with people and talking to them was not an easy task.

Lourdes explained: “I’m sure it’s fun if you’re someone who is friends with a lot of famous people, but I’m not. I didn’t know who the f**k to talk to. I felt so awkward that I literally called my boyfriend in the middle of it.”

Lourdes Leon felt as though she was 'shoved in a room' with celebrities
Lourdes Leon felt as though she was ‘shoved in a room’ with celebrities
(Image: Getty)

Model Quannah Chasinghorse felt lonely on her first Met Gala
Model Quannah Chasinghorse felt lonely on her first Met Gala
(Image: Getty)

Madonna’s daughter is not the only one who felt lonely at the event. In 2021, model Quannah Chasinghorse attended her first Met Gala and had the same thoughts.

She told Insider: “I remember standing there and looking at everyone and feeling so alone. Like, really, really lonely.

“No one knew me. No one cared to ask. People are there for themselves and it shows.”

During the 2022 stint of the annual event, there were plenty of couples snapped side by side on the red carpet, however when actor Ben Platt attended in 2017 this wasn’t the case.

He spoke to The Jess Cagle Show about this first Met Gala experience as he said: “You’re not allowed to bring a plus one — so the first time I went, I did a lap around the cocktails and tried to find somebody I knew and then failed and sort of left, and didn’t make it through the event because I was like, ‘I don’t really have anybody to talk to’.”

Ben Platt recalls leaving early
Ben Platt recalls leaving early
(Image: Getty)

While Gwyneth Paltrow called the event 'un-fun'
While Gwyneth Paltrow called the event ‘un-fun’
(Image: WireImage)

He walked the red carpet for a second time in 2021 and said that knowing more people made it more fun the next time around.

In 2013 Gwyneth Paltrow declared she was “never going again” to the Met Gala, calling it “un-fun”.

She added: “It was boiling. It was too crowded. I did not enjoy it at all.”

Though she, like Ben Platt, returned twice after that, showing off her best looks on the red carpet.

Meanwhile, Tina Fey called the event a “jerk parade” and admitted she was in trouble for bringing her husband along with her.

She told the Late Show: “I have gone to it once and it is such a jerk parade. Clearly I’ll never go again but you go and it’s this beautiful space and it’s just every jerk from every walk of life is there wearing some stupid thing.

Tina Fey 'dragged' husband Jeff Richmond with her to the Met Gala
Tina Fey ‘dragged’ husband Jeff Richmond with her to the Met Gala
(Image: Getty)

Lena Dunham had a particularly awkward time at the event
Lena Dunham had a particularly awkward time at the event
(Image: Getty)

“You walk up these huge steps… and I went and I dragged my husband along with me too, which I’m still in trouble for.”

Actress Lena Dunham had a particularly interesting experience after attending the 2016 Met Gala where she sat next to Odell Beckham Jr and wore a tux.

She said: “He determined I was not the shape of a woman by his standards. He was like, ‘That’s a marshmallow. That’s a child. That’s a dog.’ It wasn’t mean – he just seemed confused.

“The vibe was very much like, ‘Do I want to f**k it? Is it wearing a … yep, it’s wearing a tuxedo. I’m going to go back to my cell phone.’ It was like we were forced to be together, and he literally was scrolling Instagram rather than have to look at a woman in a bow tie. I was like, ‘This should be called the Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes’.”

Tim Gunn recalls being uninvited by the host Anna Wintour
Tim Gunn recalls being uninvited by the host Anna Wintour
(Image: Getty)

However, shortly after Lena issued an apology on Instagram for making “narcissistic assumptions” about the American football player.

In a statement on Instagram: “I’m so sorry, particularly to OBJ, who has every right to be on his cell phone. The fact is I don’t know about his state of mind (I don’t know a lot of things) and I shouldn’t have acted like I did.”

Project Runway’s Tim Gunn previously admitted to being disinvited to the Met Gala by Anna Wintour herself.

She said: “I was asked what is the most unforgettable thing I’ve ever seen in fashion. And I said, ‘It’s easy. It was watching Anna Wintour being carried down five flights of stairs by two bodyguards – two big hulking men – from a fashion show’.

“Well, all hell broke loose. It was insane. So we’ve had an open war ever since.”

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