Why Wasn't Taylor Swift at the Met Gala?

Working hard! Taylor Swift didn’t steal the show at the Met Gala — much to the disappointment of Swifties — but she missed the red carpet event for a good reason.

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Fans hoped to see Swift on her first red carpet after her split from  Joe Alwyn last month.

Swift’s last Met Gala appearance was in 2016 — where fans speculate she first met ex Alwyn, 32, who was also in attendance. While the pair were first officially linked in May 2017, the Grammy winner referenced the event in her song “Dress,” which is off her 2017 album Reputation and largely believed to be inspired by the Conversations With Friends actor. 

“Flashback to when you met me / Your buzzcut and my hair bleached,” Swift croons on the track, seemingly hinting at her now-famous bleach-blonde bob that she spotted on the red carpet at the time. Alwyn, for his part, had his head shaved for his role in 2016’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.  The 2016 Met Gala theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” 

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The Evermore artist and the England native were together for nearly six years before they called it quits for good last month. A source exclusively told Us Weekly at the time that the Harriet actor struggled with Swift’s A-list celebrity status. 

“Fame factored into their split. Joe is very shy and never liked all of the attention that came with dating one of the most popular singers in the world,” the insider shared at the time, noting that the Favourite star never “blamed” Swift for her popularity, he “just didn’t like having to be on all of the time.” 

The former couple began dating during a difficult time for the “Tim McGraw” singer, who had just pulled the plug on her highly publicized romances with Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston, the latter of whom she also met at the 2016 Met Gala. ( The Pennsylvania native dated Harris, 39, from 2015 to 2016, while she and the Loki star, 42, had a brief fling that summer.) The “Shake It Off” artist was also facing public scrutiny amid her feud with Kanye West and then-wife Kim Kardashian.

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“I felt alone, I felt really bitter,” Swift said in her 2020 Netflix documentary, Ms. Americana, which also featured some of the singer-songwriter’s private moments with Alwyn. “I felt sort of like a wounded animal lashing out. I figured I had to reset everything. I had to reconstruct an entire belief system for my own personal sanity. I also was falling in love with someone who had a wonderfully normal, balanced life.”

In October 2017, a source exclusively told Us that Swift and Alwyn were “taking it slow” but were “very much in love” and enjoying the normalcy of a low-key lifestyle. After more than three years together, another insider shared that the pop star thought of her beau as “one of the only safe constants in her life.”

While engagement rumors swirled various times throughout their relationship, the pair remained tight-lipped about their relationship status, particularly Alwyn. 

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“If I had a pound for every time I think I’ve been told I’ve been engaged, then I’d have a lot of pound coins,” Alwyn joked to WSJ. Magazine in April 2022. “I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn’t say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn’t say.”

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