Lifestyle Style Stars Who Hated Their Met Gala Experiences — and Their Riveting Reasons Why "It was so un-fun. It was boiling. It was too crowded. I did not enjoy it at all." By Diane J. Cho Diane J. Cho Diane J. Cho was the Features Editor of PEOPLE Digital from 2019 to 2022. She worked at the brand for nearly four years covering news, features, human interest, evergreen, holiday gift guides and more. She launched the How I Parent and What It's Really Like to Be …. digital series and has interviewed several celebrities and influential leaders within the entertainment industry. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Diane worked at Bustle, VH1 and Complex. She received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from Rutgers University and her master's degree from Columbia Journalism School. People Editorial Guidelines Updated on November 8, 2021 01:46 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 09 Quannah Chasinghorse Quannah Chasinghorse. Taylor Hill/WireImage The 19-year-old Indigenous model and climate change activist, whose heritage is Han Gwich'in and Oglala Lakota, is a rising fashion star but felt like an outsider when she attended the Met Gala for the first time in 2021. "I remember standing there and looking at everyone and feeling so alone. Like, really, really lonely," she told Insider. "No one knew me. No one cared to ask. People are there for themselves and it shows." 02 of 09 Lourdes Leon Getty Madonna's 24-year-old daughter said she felt similarly outcast during her inaugural appearance at the fancy fête, despite being "grateful" for the invitation. "You're just shoved into a room with all these famous people and you're supposed to talk to them and be their friend, even though you don't f---ing know them," she said in Interview magazine. "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--- to talk to. I felt so awkward that I literally called my boyfriend [Jonathan Puglia] in the middle of it." 03 of 09 Ben Platt Mike Coppola/Getty The star felt so awkward his first time attending, in 2017, that he took off before the night was over. "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'," he said on The Jess Cagle Show. He wasn't so scarred that he refused to go again, though: He returned in 2021 knowing a few "familiar faces" that made it feel "less scary" – and by the end of the night, he declared it "pretty fun." 04 of 09 Zayn Malik George Pimentel/WireImage In his 2018 cover story with GQ, the singer (here with then-girlfriend Gigi Hadid in 2016) explained why he would rather stay at home than participate in fashion's biggest night. "The Met Gala is not necessarily anything that I ever knew about or was about," he explained. "But my [former] stylist … would say to me, 'This is really good for you to do.' And no matter how strong you are mentally, you can always be swayed to do certain things. 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." 05 of 09 Tina Fey Matt Baron/BEI/REX/Shutterstock During an interview with former Late Show host David Letterman in 2010, Fey talked about her Met Gala experience and why she would never go again. "I have gone to it once and it is such a jerk parade," the star explained while laughing along with the audience. "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. 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." 06 of 09 Demi Lovato Michael Buckner/REX "This picture pretty much summed up my first and probably last met 😂😂😂," Lovato captioned this 2016 photo with the following hashtags to truly hit their point home: #cool#sof-ckingawkward #notforme#sweatpants #forensicfiles#whatsgood. For followers who weren't understanding their humor, Lovato added: "p.s. some of y'all need to learn how to take a joke.. I'm obviously laughing at the fact that 1. I look incredibly awkward and 2. That the shade being thrown in this picture actually gives me life 🙌🏼😂" In an interview with Billboard in 2018, Lovato also talked about how the event made them almost relapse. "I had a terrible experience," Lovato told the music outlet. "This one celebrity was a complete bitch and was miserable to be around. It was very cliquey. I remember being so uncomfortable that I wanted to drink." 07 of 09 Lena Dunham Matt Baron/Shutterstock The Girls creator spilled some tea in a 2016 Lenny Letter interview with Amy Schumer about her experience sitting next to New York Giants wide reciever Odell Beckham Jr. — though eventually ate her words. "I was sitting next to Odell Beckham Jr., and it was so amazing because it was like he looked at me and 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," Dunham explained to Schumer. "The vibe was very much like, 'Do I want to f-ck 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.' " After she faced backlash for the comments, she issued a lengthy apology on Instagram. "Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don't rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up to the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses it's hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. "This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion and a bunch of women I was sure he'd rather be seated with," she continued. "But I went ahead and projected these insecurities and made totally narcissistic assumptions about what he was thinking, then presented those assumptions as facts. I feel terrible about it. Because after listening to lots of valid criticism, I see how unfair it is to ascribe misogynistic thoughts to someone I don't know AT ALL. Like, we have never met, I have no idea the kind of day he's having or what his truth is. "But most importantly, I would never intentionally contribute to a long and often violent history of the over-sexualization of black male bodies- as well as false accusations by white women towards black men," she said. "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." In 2019, Dunham attended the gala with pal and former Girls costar Jemima Kirke. 08 of 09 Gwyneth Paltrow Rabbani and Solimene Photography/WireImage The actress has had a love-hate relationship with the event and was particularly turned off in 2013 (pictured) when she told USA Today that she was "never going again." "It was so un-fun," Paltrow said. "It was boiling. It was too crowded. I did not enjoy it at all." Paltrow must have had a change of heart when she decided to go again in 2017 wearing a pale pink sequin, one-shoulder Calvin Klein dress, paired with $2.5 million Harry Winston diamond earrings. She returned in 2019, too. 09 of 09 Tim Gunn Jim Spellman/WireImage When Fashion Police host Melissa Rivers asked Tim Gunn in a 2016 interview if it was true that he was "disinvited" from the Met Gala, Gunn responded, "It is very true." After a lot of gasping from the audience, the former Project Runway host explained why he was banned by Anna Wintour herself. "I was asked what is the most unforgettable thing I've ever seen in fashion," he explained, "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." Gunn continued: "Well, all hell broke loose. It was insane. So we've had an open war ever since."