The spring social calendar has been eerily quiet, and it was never felt more obvious than Monday. The first Monday in May is when celebrities, designers, and more grace the Metropolitan Museum of Art for fashion’s biggest night out.
The Met Gala is more than just a star-studded event. It’s a fundraiser that serves as part fashion show, part otherworldly experience.
Of course, this year’s event was canceled due to continued shutdowns in New York City. In tribute to the unforgettable event, Vogue put together an oral history of the Met Gala, as told by various stars, fashion industry vets, and Vogue staff members.
Sally Singer, the former Vogue creative digital director, shared an anecdote about Jessica Simpson in the piece.
She discusses, in detail, the state of Jessica’s cleavage throughout that night, as well as people’s thoughts about it. What made for a salacious story didn’t sit right with Jessica. She took to social media to address it after experiencing body shaming for much of her career.
On Monday, Vogue treated fashion fans to a detailed oral history of the Met Gala, courtesy of all the people who have been fortunate enough to attend in the past. There were a lot of fun anecdotes about different stars and designers. It filled in the Met Gala-shaped holes in our hearts from this year’s canceled event.
One section of the oral history was dedicated to some of the event’s most outrageous moments. Former Vogue creative digital director Sally Singer shared a story about Jessica Simpson from the 2007 Met Gala. “One year Jessica Simpson was there with John Mayer,” the story began.
Now, off the bat you know it’s going to be controversial. The relationship between Jessica Simpson and John Mayer is one of the most talked-about ones in recent Hollywood history. Jessica wrote about it in her book, released earlier this year. She was hoping to put questions and comments about the relationship to an end, once and for all.
“She was wearing Roberto Cavalli and her breasts maybe fell out of her dress on the red carpet … and then at dinner, it was suddenly like, whoa, Jessica Simpson’s breasts are across from me at the dinner table and they are on a platter and I’m looking at them,” Sally continued.
“And John Mayer was putting his hands on them at the dinner table. He kind of reached down and I just remember thinking, Oh, celebrities, feel free to play here. That’s what’s going on.”
Incidentally, it wasn’t the only story about Jessica included in the oral history. The other was told by designer Michael Kors.
“I went with Jessica Simpson one year and she went to the ladies’ room and she seemed to be gone from the table for quite a while. So I got a little nervous and I was hoping she was okay,” he recalled.
“And I went to the ladies room, which always was the best party at the Met gala, especially during the early 2000s. And I opened the door, and it was basically a full party going on and I didn’t see her,” he continued.
“She was in a stall because her zipper broke and she actually couldn’t close her dress. So we got a needle and thread and we sewed her back into the dress!”
While Michael’s story seems more like a genuine memory, Sally’s did not sit right with Jessica. She took to social media to respond to the comments.
“Feeling a little like Jayne Mansfield after reading this (inaccurate!) oral history of the #MetBall where I am body-shamed by #SallySinger (https://www.vogue.com/article/the-complete-met-gala-oral-history) 😜…,” Jessica shared.
“But in all seriousness, I have persevered through shaming my own body and internalizing the world’s opinions about it for my entire adult life,” she continues. Jessica has spoken out many times about her struggles with body image and the adversity she’s faced.
“To read this much-anticipated article about the classiest fashion event there is and have to be shamed by another woman for having boobs in 2020 is nauseating.”
Many women agreed. They thought it was strange that the only two comments about Jessica in the article were about her body despite the fact that she’s a designer in her own right. The fact that Sally is no longer with Vogue also makes it seem a bit shady.
“We are sorry that Jessica felt body-shamed by the anecdote in our Met piece,” the magazine reportedly offered as an apology.
“That was never our intent, but we understand her reaction and we apologize for including it.”
It’s interesting to note that while the article was corrected to reflect the correct designer, as she was originally cited as wearing Michael Kors, the comment was not removed after Jessica’s response.