The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

  • 6/24 Board Meeting
The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The state of our society

I’m sure some of us are into fashion and were excited to see who attended the Met Gala on May 6, 2024. The Met Gala is a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute that has countless popular celebrities. Personally, it was cool and inspiring to see actress Zendaya and singer Lana Del Rey appear in the most stunning dresses. 

However, I have noticed something as I scroll through social media. There is endless coverage of the gala on social platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Yet, a lot of the observations aren’t about the designers of the endless outfits celebrities wore or about the celebrities themselves. The main comments are criticizing the amount of money the celebrities were able to spend on a ticket to attend in the first place.

According to an article by Mykenna Maniece for Business Insider, “Individual tickets for the Met Gala cost $75,000, up from $50,000 in 2023, [and] tables started at $350,000.”

A lot of people on social media saw these prices and realized how unbelievable they are. However, they didn’t feel sympathy for the celebrities having to pay this cost for a single night of fun. No, instead, they felt sympathy for every other normal civilian in the United States of America.

In 2020, the world was nearly destroyed and became a dystopian nightmare. People were getting sick with a deadly virus known as COVID-19, workers were losing their jobs while doctors and nurses were drowning in patients and students were no longer in classrooms. It’s also hard to forget how grocery stores were nearly empty due to mass hysteria of thinking that we might never get these resources again. 

It was a complete shock when we all realized that inflation would be the thing to kill us all. Not COVID-19.

“With the inflation rate higher than its been since the early 1980s, Biden administration officials acknowledge that they [messed up],” according to an article by Pew Research Center. “According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual inflation rate in May [of 2022] was 8.6%, its highest level since 1981, as measured by the consumer price index.”

Many people are no longer able to afford basic necessities like food, menstrual products, clothing, houseware and hygienic products. And due to the loss of thousands of jobs during the pandemic, many people still haven’t been able to find a job. If they have, then they aren’t getting paid the same amount as they did before the COVID-19 era. We live in a post-pandemic world that is slowly destroying us.

Yet, we don’t see celebrities struggling, do we? 

According to an article by SoFi.com, an organization that helps bring financial stability, “The average salary in the U.S. in 2024 is $63,796.”

If we look back at what a single ticket costs for the Met Gala, it was $75,000. Most Americans don’t make that kind of money in a single year. Yet, celebrities are so willing to spend that kind of money for a few hours of food and mingling. However, the problem isn’t the celebrities. The problem is the fact that while an elite group of people that make up 1% of the American population aren’t struggling or facing financial distress, everyone else is faced with high grocery store prices, high rent and mortgage payments and high gasoline prices.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for the average American to live. But, the upper class citizens that are mainly singers, athletes, actors and influencers aren’t being faced with the same problems as everyone else.

This needs to change. I’m not saying that celebrities should get a taste of what we get every day. No, I’m saying that there is something staring us directly in the face, but we’re all just ignoring it. While some of us sit at home watching celebrities and obsessing over who designed Zendaya’s dress, we are completely ignoring the fact that we couldn’t afford a single piece of jewelry that Zendaya was wearing.

In society, it seems to be that we are glorifying expensive materialism without facing the reality of our economy. The housing market is basically destroyed with Americans not being able to afford living in a one room apartment. It costs nearly five dollars for a dozen eggs at your local grocery store, and we’re paying nearly four dollars per gallon at a gas station.

We need to stop paying attention to smaller things and start looking at the bigger picture. The world is slowly facing starvation and poverty.

But, at least we got to watch Zendaya at the Met Gala… right?

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About the Contributor
Sophie Ponce de Leon
Sophie Ponce de Leon, Co-Editor-in- Chief of Print and Co-Copyeditor
Name: Sophie Ponce de Leon   Position: Co-Editor-in-Chief of Print and Co-Copy Editor   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: I love politics and will definitely always say a woman would make the best president. I love reading, writing, eating and sleeping. Also, I’m a hopeless romantic so… hit me up please.   My favorite…   Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Show: Lucifer Animal: Red fox Hobby: Crying Book: Once upon a broken heart by Stephanie Garber Food: French fries Song: I wish I was the moon by Neko Case Band / Artist: Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Fiona Apple