Makeup guru and YouTube creator Nikkie de Jager was one of the many LGBTQ stars who graced the carpet at this year's Met Gala, and the 27-year-old used her gala debut to honor activist Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson.
On Instagram, the beauty entrepreneur went into detail about her look, writing: “I knew I wanted to pay homage to a trans icon who was at the forefront of the Stonewall Riots… Marsha P. Johnson paved the way for so many of us, and I hope I made my community proud tonight.”
The Dutch YouTuber wore an aquamarine tulle gown by Edwin Oudshoorn with floral accents. A sash woven into the train of the dress had Johnson's famous phrase, "Pay it no mind," written across it.
"Pay it no mind" is reported to have been Johnson’s go-to response for those who questioned her gender and way of life. Her legacy of activism and frontline work in New York’s LGBTQ community earned her the title "The Saint of Christopher Street."
Her body was tragically discovered in the Hudson River on July 2, 1992. Johnson was 46 at the time of her death.
“We came up with the idea of creating a tribute to the legendary Marsha P. Johnson and the whole look[ed] started with the custom made characteristic flower crown," the dress designer Oudshoorn wrote on Instagram. "18k gold flowers, leaves and buds created by goldsmith Digna Gorkovoi, combined with handmade silk flowers & beading and a nod to Nikkies dutch heritage and our upcoming collection 'Thalassic' in the form of 'ear irons'.”
In January 2020, de Jager told her 12 million subscribers that she was a trans woman.
In the video, which has now been viewed more than 37 million times, she shared that she wanted to “inspire little Nikkies around the world who feel insecure, who feel out of place, who feel misunderstood” to commit to “live your life like you wanted and the way you deserve."
This year’s theme, American fashion, took on various interpretations, but de Jager’s tribute to an American icon was quickly noticed by people online. They applauded her look and the meaningful statement it made.
Undoubtedly America at its finest.
Pay it no mind. America at its finest. #MetGala #MetGala2021
I love her dress. Because Nikkei De Jager is serving Trans realness with her head piece that is in reference to Marsha P Johnson, and the ribbon, which bares the title of Marsha’s book. That’s how we roll! #MetTalk2021
The execution is flawless and makes a statement.
nicki tutorial is hitting beautifully at the corner of fashion, art & politics. the fashion is there, the execution & the meaning! this is an ode to marsha p johnson!! this is what im looking for if were talking about fashion & politics/social movements colliding!
we should talk about @NikkieTutorials honoring marsha p johnson. pay it no mind 💕#MetGala
Class is in session.
Wow, @NikkieTutorials slaying the MET Gala in a Marsha P. Johnson inspired look. Serving fashion and educating the children at the same time? Yes Gawd! #TransLivesMatter 🏳️⚧️
Okay but Nikki’s tribute to Marsha P. Johnson was so beautifully done and really brought a different perspective of American Independence at the met gala tbh