There's nothing like the overhead fluorescent lighting of a public bathroom to give haute couture that je ne sais quoi factor. At the Met Gala, much like most of the parties I attended in college, where kegs were kept in showers, the real action happens in the bathroom.
The bathroom selfie, made popular by the likes of Kylie Jenner, was borne of the strict no-cellphone or social media rule inside the Gala, one of its main tenets of etiquette. (It's also, allegedly, a strict no-parsley-or-garlic zone, at Anna Wintour's request, for the sake of sparing guests' respective teeth and breath.)
The rule, which is likely enforced to keep the event private, is still often broken. Last year, Eva Chen posted a candid shot of a blinking Kendall Jenner, a very focused-looking Kim K, and SZA giving a thumbs up, and reportedly live-streamed part of Madonna's performance. (I shudder at the thought of Anna Wintour witnessing such flagrant rule-breaking.)
But the less blatant cheating occurs in the bathroom — a meeting place where celebs from all corners of all industries convene at the sinks in million-dollar synergy. Behold Kylie Jenner, Paris Jackson, Frank Ocean, Slick Woods, and a cheesing Brie Larson packed like sardines betwixt walls of tile, below.
Aside from photo-taking, other activities take place in the Met Gala bathroom. After Bella Hadid, among other guests, was photographed smoking in the bathroom at the event in 2017, the New York City Department of Health issued a letter to the Met denouncing the violation of New York smoking laws, to which the museum responded ensuring it would stop this activity from happening moving forward. But now, celebs will probably just Juul in there.
One can only hope this year's Met Gala bathroom pics will deliver as powerfully as the ones in years past. I would very much like to see Lady Gaga washing her hands next to, say, Nick Jonas. Also, does anyone else get a kick out of thinking about stars in full diamond-encrusted gowns using, like, normal bathroom stalls? It is the ultimate high-low, non?