Today is a sacred day. The first Monday of May has always been the day that fashion lives its best life. It is the one day a year that is devoted to getting rich people to help fund the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City. By gathering the best, brightest, and most importantly, the most fashionable in the industry, The Met Gala, it has become the party of the year. Picture Cardi B at a table with Anna Wintour – that conversation has to be most interesting on the planet. But of course, Big Rona said, "Not up in here!" this year.
I never thought I would mourn an event the way I have with the Met Gala. Good thing I am not alone. Vogue has curated something special for us in remembrance of this event, "A Moment with the Met". The intimate celebration is set to happen on May 4 at 6 p.m. EDT via livestream exclusively on YouTube. The virtual turnup will feature an address by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, a special live performance by Florence and the Machine, and a DJ set from Virgil Abloh.
To keep hope alive, we assembled some of our favorite looks of all time. Check them out!
Rihanna at the 2018 Met Gala
Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a certified Met Gala killer. It was hard to choose just one look from this multi-hyphenate icon because she gives it every single time. But this lewk from 2018 was one for the books. 2018 was actually full of hits with celebrities nailing the theme, "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination".
Rih came through in a matching jewel encrusted robe, dress and papal mitre looking like the best dressed pope EVER. The entire lewk was designed by Margiela accessorized with Cartier jewelry and Christian Louboutin heels. It was her first time wearing Margiela and she definitely left a lasting impression. We also think she came this hard because she co-hosted the gala this year.
Zendaya at the 2018 Met Gala
Saint Joan of Arc has a new name and her name is Zendaya the queen. We know Zendaya is no stranger to slaying red carpets but she absolutely demolished the steps of the Met in 2018 with this iconic outfit. The custom Versace gown could not have been more perfect for the theme with the armor, chainmail and glimmering sequins. From her accented jewelry to the famous Maid of Orléans' bob, we stan.
Janelle Monae at the 2019 Met Gala
Last year, Janelle Monae proclaimed that Camp, the designated motif for the gala, was embedded in her DNA. She strolled onto the carpet in an intricately, structured Christian Siriano design with a motorized blinking eye provided by Smooth Technology. This was not only a nod to Picasso but also to her love for science and fiction. Janelle wanted to specifically pull inspiration from Picasso's work as it related to tribal masks and shattered portraits. The stack of hats were also perfect for Janelle's infamous aesthetic.
Beyonce at the 2015 MET Gala
We distinctly remember the Queen showing up late but still shutting sh*t down! The year was 2015 and Beyonce arrived to the gala in a barely-there Givenchy dress. She had us all saying, "Heyyyyyyy, Mrs. Carter!" We gave her a pass for being on CP time because there's no way this getup could have an error. One jewel out of place could make for another time Bey made the world stop. We were also living for this super high pony because it enhanced the levels of snatch-dom.
Diana Ross at the 1981 Met Gala
Giving us shoulders and cheekbones, the legendary Diana Ross looked amazing at the 1981 gala dedicated to "The Eighteenth Century Woman". Her gown, made completely of feathers, has been on every iconic Met Gala list ever created. The dress was so fly, she pulled it out of hiding and rocked it again at the 2012 American Music Awards.
Naomi Campbell at the 1990 Met Gala
The black Barbie herself, Naomi Campbell owned the "Thêatre de la Mode — Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture" theme in 1990 in a mini couture dress splattered in colorful art. Her debut to the event was nothing short of groundbreaking. The supermodel's runway presence was undeniable so her attendance at this specific gala was a requirement.
Solange at the 2018 Met Gala
First off, we don't deserve Solange. We definitely did not deserve this lewk she donned to the 2018 Met Gala. Like always, she paid homage to her culture with a braided halo and a durag that read, "My God wears a durag." What accompanied this already flawless situation? A sculpted and textured Van Herpen creation. The "Don't Touch My Hair" songstress carried Florida Water and a piece of obsidian to protect her energy because we know our homegirl ain't got time.
Iman at the 1981 Met Gala
Wearing Calvin Klein with the designer himself on her arm, Iman stunned in a golden getup. The acccented body chain and gold earrings were it for us because it complimented her melanin so well. Seeing her in this space back then is so important because had it not been for her, Diana Ross and Naomi Campbell, there wouldn't be room for the other brilliant black women on this list.
Whitney Houston at the 1999 Met Gala
A rock style queen if we have ever seen one. Whitney Houston wore a diamond-encrusted outfit designed by Dolce & Gabbana. It was the end of a decade and the beginning of Whitney's presence at this illustrious event. She was gearing up for her My Love is Your Love World Tour and she was all about reinventing herself.
Lena Waithe at the 2018 Met Gala
Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win an Emmy for writing in a comedy series, lives to make a statement. The 2018 Met Gala's theme of "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" wasn't ready for her statement in her Carolina Herrera ensemble made perfect with a rainbow cape. That evening the creator told Complex Magazine, "You talk about church and Catholicism, it's about—you were made in God's image...The theme to me is be yourself." It was something about the beat paired with the suit that made us fall in love with her feminine masculinity even more.
Cardi B at the 2019 Met Gala
Her nipples are literal rubies valued a $250,000. Chile. I'm obsessed. Cardi's Thom Browne regalia goes down as one of the most massive trains ever. It required 10 people to guide it down the carpet which created the perfect photo opportunity on the steps of the Met. We also learned that the intricate gown was composed of 30,000 feathers that took 2,000 hours to create by 35 people.
Billy Porter at the 2019 Met Gala
The name Billy Porter rings bells, hunty. The actor, singer and all-around entertainer extraordinaire entered the scene on a pedestal carried by six shirtless men. And his outfit? A catsuit designed by The Blonds accompanied with a 24-karat gold headpiece and wings that were high enough to touch heaven. Lest not forget the custom gold-leaf Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and fine jewels he wore from Andreoli, John Hardy, and Oscar Heyman.
Migos at the 2018 Met Gala
The trio we all love blessed us with matching Versace suits in 2018 and we can never say thank you enough. Migos is wildly known for their flamboyant but fly attire so we loved that these black men came ready to kill it. The colorful blazers overlaid with religious pictures and iconography brought a much-needed sauce to the carpet. Of course, the Atlanta rappers had to complete their fits with jewelry that could pay off the entire world's student loans.
Jaden Smith at the 2017 Met Gala
Oh, Jaden, how we adore thee. Only he could walk a carpet with his trademark dreads in his hands like flowers. The rapper wore man heels and a perfectly tailored Louis Vuitton suit keeping up with his unapologetic vibe. Word on the street is he also walked on the carpet with a speaker blasting his own music. We love to see it!
Andre Leon Talley at the 2004 Met Gala
Get into this fashion king's cape of all capes. Andre Leon Talley is undoubtedly an unsung hero of the Met Gala. In 2004, with the theme of "Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century", the former Vogue editor-at-large gave us 6'6'' glory. Seeing him on a carpet back then means so much for the queer community because he always showed up authentically and fabulously. We can't wait for his new novel as he may spill some Met Gala tea.
Ciara at the 2019 Met Gala
Ciara's "costume" at the 2019 Met Gala has to be one of her best looks of all time. The larger than life hair coupled with the emerald green Peter Dundas dress made this look an absolute head-turner. The fact that she also twerked with Big Freedia at this distinguished gala gave us so much life.
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Joce Blake is a womanist who loves fashion, Beyonce and Hot Cheetos. The sophistiratchet enthusiast is based in Brooklyn, NY but has southern belle roots as she was born and raised in Memphis, TN. Keep up with her on Instagram @joce_blake and on Twitter @SaraJessicaBee.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Viola Davis On Beauty Standards Changing In Hollywood: 'We Are Beyond Male Desirability'
Actress Viola Davis is shedding light on beauty standards and how it has transformed throughout the years.
The 57-year-old has touched on this topic numerous times throughout her career, which spans over three decades. In the past, Davis revealed that she felt inadequate because of her physical appearance due to constantly being told she wasn't beautiful or enough.
Since then, the EGOT winner has overcome those insecurities and used her platform to share a positive message to those who need them. In a recent interview withPEOPLE magazine while attending the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, Davis shared that the shift is because many now know that beauty is "beyond male desirability."
Viola On Beauty Standards
During the discussion, the How To Get Away with Murder star also mentioned that another factor contributing to the transformation is that people associate beauty with mental health, which she claimed inspired her partnership with makeup brand L'Oreal.
"I think beauty standards have changed. I think that what's shifted is that whole idea of mental health being associated with beauty [and] of understanding who we are beyond male desirability. It's really a huge part of why I decided to become a part of L'Oreal, that whole statement of 'I'm worth it,'" she said.
Further in the interview, Davis recounted her past experiences of being told she wasn't beautiful and mentioned how it destroyed her because, growing up, she knew that beauty was tied to worthiness.
"What destroyed me was people constantly telling me that I was not beautiful. [You might think] why would you be upset with that? Because beauty is attached with worth and value. And I refuse to believe that I'm not worth it just based on a sort of idea and perception of what people think classical beauty is," she stated.
The Woman King star added that since the shift in beauty standards, women are now being "encouraged to speak their truth a little bit more" in certain situations such as one's goals, sexual assault, mental illness, etc. With that, Davis explained that people are now seeing the beauty within others and applauding them for it.
"Now women are encouraged to speak their truth a little bit more. We see that with sexual assault, with mental illness, with being burnt-out mamas, with following our dreams and our hopes that we have for our lives," she said.
"Back in the day, we hid our pain behind perfectly applied lipstick and wax floors. Now we don't do that anymore. We're saying this is who we are, beyond the makeup and the hair. I see that. I see that with my daughter's generation."
Viola On The Message She Shares With Her Daughter
As the conversation shifted to the advice Davis gives her teenage daughter Genesis Tennon --whom she with her husband, Julius Tennon-- when it comes to beauty, the star disclosed that she motivates Tennon to become the "love" of her own life.
Davis said she shared these sentiments because she wants Tennon to advocate for herself in various situations when others disappoint her and cross her boundaries.
"I told my daughter this morning that she has to have a love affair with herself. That she is indeed the love of her life. I said, 'I love you, but it's not me, it's not some boy. At the end of the day, you can't disappoint yourself. You have to advocate for yourself," she stated. "You have to show up for her.' And it's not just spa treatments and a glass of wine. It's in showing up when someone hurts you. Creating boundaries and when someone crosses it."
Davis wrapped up her remarks by saying she spread positive messages like this to Tennon and the world because she was not "taught" that loving oneself meant being one's supporter.
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