Why celebrities should boycott the Met Gala
OPINION: On Monday night, fashion's shiniest stars will come together at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 70th Met Gala, or Met Ball.
It's fashion's version of the Oscars, attended by the biggest names in design, film, music and the arts.
In previous years it gave the world Kim Kardashian's "grandma's curtains" dress, Rihanna's "omelet" gown, set to provocative themes like Punk: Chaos to Couture to Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.
But this year's theme pushes straight past 'titillating' and slams smack-bang into 'tasteless'. Titled Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, guests are expected to look to the Catholic Church for inspiration for their red carpet outfits.
It's easy to see what's coming. Madonna, the queen of twisted Catholic iconography, will inevitably lace herself into a racy corset and a crucifix (she's already posted a pic on Instagram of the pale pink one she's planning to wear).
Someone else will reference the virginal Catholic brides that designers like John Galliano and Christian Lacroix love to send down a runway.
There'll be opulent ermine and velvet robes, heavy gold accessories, towering headpieces, elaborate jewellery - mixed up with sexy little hints of naughty nuns, naked cherubs, virgins and Catholic schoolgirls.
In other words, it will be a celebration of the two things so many find repugnant about the Catholic Church: its ostentatious wealth and its weird relationship with sex and sexuality.
If you're a victim of clergy sexual assault who is fighting for compensation from a church that regularly cries poor - including the 16,000 Australians who made contact with the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse - seeing a bunch of celebrities prance around in the ostentatious and sexually confused fashions of the Church must feel like a slap in the face.
"Celebrities should be boycotting this ball and giving all the money it would have cost to survivors," says Ballarat-based victim support lawyer Ingrid Irwin.
"If you have a profile, you have a responsibility to make a statement when the world is watching.
"The Catholic imagery is this obsession with virgins, with little girls wearing wedding veils, obedient housewives and sexual repression," Ms Irwin says.
"These celebs might be wearing these things tongue-in-cheek, but it still pays homage to the Catholic Church's culture. It's poor taste and survivors would feel let down that they're not making a political statement about this."
She adds that the displays of the church's enormous wealth - the robes, jewellery and expensive art - is also very difficult for survivors to see.
"When you stand at the Vatican and look at the enormous cathedrals, the famous galleries, the cloistered world of their privilege, you see the sort of power [child sex abuse survivors] are up against," Ms Irwin says.
The Catholic Church in Australia has so far refused to join any national redress scheme that would pay compensation to victims of clergy sexual abuse, despite being worth around $30 billion in Australia alone, and paying no taxes.
It would be different, Ms Irwin said, if the church had taken serious steps to make amends. She's not suggesting the Church needs to be boycotted forever, or that people shouldn't want the Church to be celebrated again - one day.
But it should only happen if and when the church leadership truly atones for what its members have done.
"There's no leadership," she says. "They haven't responded to these people in their time of need."
"To glorify the Catholic Church in this way is saying that's okay."
Fingers crossed someone will break with protocol and be brave enough to give the Catholic Church a celeb-endorsed #MeToo moment, one that draws attention to the ongoing struggle victims face as they battle the Catholic Church hierarchy.
It doesn't need to be angry, it doesn't need to be violent. It just needs to be strong enough to make the world take notice.
I'm looking at you, Beyonce. Rip off your crucifix in front of the cameras and belt out a few lines of Destiny's Child's Survivor and take it from there.