The Met Gala 2021: Jackie Aina understood the assignment

Jackie Aina as black Barbie 2021

I am totally kicking myself for not writing this sooner, but I had to talk about this on the blog. Auntie Jackie REALLY understood the assignment of “American Independence” when it came to the Met Gala 2021, and I am confused as to why more people aren’t giving her props. First, she was the first black content creator to attend which is ground breaking for women of color and I need more people to see that. She walked the red carpet wearing a 90s inspired hot pink dress that reminded us all of the OG fashion icon Barbie. In her YouTube video she says she was giving a nod to black fashion primarily in the 90s era (BAPS, Naomi Campbell…). The gown was created by Fe Noel (Black fashion designer), and Jackie has stated to various news sources that she was going for “90s Barbie meets Pamela Anderson”. Now, I’ve seen Reddit trolls say it was basic and they couldn’t tell if she was Marilyn or Barbie. In contrast, I’ve seen fashion sources like WWD and Vanity Fair, that had nothing but praise for her stunning look.

So, what’s the final verdict for Styled by Stacey-Jay? Her look has a much bigger impact that what we are seeing on the surface. Firstly, let’s not forget these events, especially the Met, allows creatives to collaborate with designers to express themselves, and boldly make a statement on what’s going on in the world. Her look was iconic not only in the sense that she looked amazing physically, but also symbolically. Aina, is a symbol weather you’re a fan or not. She was the first black content creator to be invited and then she went as an American Fashion Icon, Barbie (traditionally white) and made her black. Let’s sit on that for a second and connect it to the theme! We live in America where now more than ever, the people decide what’s “fashion savvy” and who meets the standards of “girl next door material”. It is not a secret we’ve come a long way as women of color, and are slowly but surely paving the way for ourselves in the fashion and beauty community. A community that excluded, ignored, and discriminated against us for years. To live in a country where YOU have the freedom to decide who you become and can fight for your voice to be heard and appreciated is a huge deal, more so than I realized as I look at what is going on in other countries. I felt like a little girl watching her at the Met Gala (and get video on getting ready for it), and couldn’t help but think, “this woman who looks just like me, from a similar background is attending this event because SHE DID THAT”.

Furthermore, her look doesn’t just inspire women of color, but also curvy women, and dare I say more mature women. Aina is 34, although I hardly think that is old, she is on the more aged end of social media creators (and we’ve all been here for it). This just goes to show that aging is a good thing, and I feel like women forget that all too often. It’s not shameful for anyone to age. We live in a society where you have to feel like, you’re always running out of time, but what does that mean? Who decides that? Over the years auntie Jackie has taught us you decide your path, no matter where you come from, what your passions are, or how long it should take, you can be whatever you want. Age is even less of a road block than being a woman of color for Jackie Aina.

Starting to think she’s more relatable than you thought?

Until next time (check out her Met Gala video below)!


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