On Monday 1 May, a star-studded guest list ascended the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ahead of the unveiling of the Costume Institute’s new exhibition: “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty.”
Despite the arrivals of many highly anticipated celebrities, there were a number of stars absent from carpeted steps of the annual fashion extravaganza, including Selena Gomez, Zendaya and Blake Lively.
Although they did not attend the event, many fans were duped into thinking that both Gomez and Zendaya walked the red carpet steps due to doctored images that showed the stars doing just that.
In one photo that has been widely circulated on Twitter, Gomez is seen wearing a sheer one-shoulder dress with blue pearls on the red carpet. However, the image is not real. It’s actually the Rare Beauty founder’s face edited onto a photo of Lily James posing in the Versace gown she actually wore on the red carpet of the 2022 Met Gala.
“SELENA GOMEZ DID A SURPRISE APPEARANCE AT THE #MetGala WTF,” user @kevormez captioned the photos on Twitter, where they have since been viewed more than 17 million times.
The edited photos and false claims were met with mixed reactions from fans, with many expressing concerns over the realistic nature of the photos of Gomez. Others revealed they’d wholly believed the tweet.
“The fact that I thought this was real,” one tweet reads.
“This is scary because these fake images are getting so good and believable. She wasn’t even there,” another person tweeted in response to the edited photos, while someone else said: “This app is dangerous because why on earth have so many people fallen for fake news and a fake picture?”
“Fully believe accounts that do this and spread misinformation should be permanently banned,” one person suggested.
Gomez, who last attended the Met Gala in 2018, was not the only celebrity to be edited onto the red carpet. Some fans also claimed that Zendaya made a surprise appearance on the Met Museum steps.
The claim, which was repeated by a number of Twitter accounts, was accompanied by a photo of Zendaya wearing a black one-shouldered gown. That photo was created by editing Zendaya’s face onto a photo of Rita Ora, who attended the 2023 Met Gala in a black gown by designer Prabal Gurung.
The Photoshopped image fooled many on social media, with one person writing: “I can’t believe I fell for this.”
“Is this fake or not I need to know?!” someone else asked.
The official Twitter account for HypeBae also appeared to fall victim to the hoax, with the outlet tweeting the edited photo of Zendaya along with the caption: “ZENDAYA IS THAT GIRL AND WILL FOREVER BE THAT GIRL #MetGala.”
In the comments under the tweet, many users attempted to notify the outlet that the picture in question was doctored.
“This is Photoshopped!! Zendaya is not at the Met, and this is Rita Ora’s body/dress,” one person tweeted, while another said: “This is fake.”
Others criticised the individual behind the edited photo, with one person writing: “Whoever changed this to Zendaya is actually evil like so many people have been fooled when it’s actually Rita Ora.”
This is not the first time that fans have fallen for edited photos of the exclusive fashion event. Jason Derulo has been the subject of a meme that claims he fell down the Met Gala steps since 2015. The doctored photo of the singer, which is posted during nearly every red carpet event, also circulated this year.
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