The undeniable issue hidden in the 'bathroom shots' from the Met Gala.

Going by the countless photos shared on social media, you’d be excused for thinking the real party at the Met Gala was happening in the bathroom.

Perhaps the most recognisable snap of the night saw Kylie Jenner recreate Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscars selfie, except this time, it was in a bathroom mirror. Everyone from Lily Aldridge to Paris Jackson to Brie Larson to Frank Ocean posed alongside the 19-year-old reality star – who broke the gala’s ‘no-selfie’ rule for the epic photo.

Image via Instagram.

But a number of other bathroom photos broke a much more serious rule. Because, apparently, celebrities in 2017 are passionate about making a statement - specifically, a statement about New York's smoking ban.

Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson featured on Rita Ora's Snapchat smoking a cigarette in the bathroom, despite the fact that both the area near Central Park, and the museum itself, has banned smoking since 2003.

Image via Snapchat.

The caption, 'sex on legs', is probably not a particularly responsible message to send to Ora's hundreds of thousands followers on social media.

Another image of Bella Hadid, model Lara Stone, Paris Jackson, and Ruby Rose showed Hadid puffing out a cloud of smoke while the others sat on the bathroom floor.

Just to reiterate - this wasn't a house party. Or a nightclub. The Met is one of the world's finest and largest art museums, with a permanent collection of over two million works of art - some of which are from ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Galleries are full of collections of musical instruments, clothing, weapons and armour, as well as invaluable art from African, Asian, Indian and Islamic cultures.

Image via Instagram.

Other guests pictured smoking include Marc Jacobs, Courtney Love, her daughter Frances Bean Cobain, and actor Rami Malek.

For a group of people who earn a great deal of money for being 'influencers,' it's rather disappointing to see smoking so rampant.

Of course - these celebrities aren't just smoking because they feel compelled to. Like everything else shared by these high profile personalities, these images are about image crafting. They say something about who these people are. They're rule breakers. They're 'chill'. They're carefree.

And that's just the type of image health professionals have been trying to eradicate for decades.

Image via Instagram.

In 2012, the Surgeon General's Report in the US found definitive evidence that smoking in movies causes young people to start smoking. Surely, exposure to young, attractive and admired celebrities such as Dakota Johnson and Bella Hadid smoking would have a similar, if not stronger, effect.

The fact that many of these stars couldn't make it through one of the most significant dates on their calendar without taking a smoke break (and photographing it) is deeply concerning.

I've always thought that while people in my parent's generation weren't aware of the extent of the dangers of smoking, and therefore may have become addicted before all the risks were known, people in my generation don't have that same excuse.


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We know it's addictive, we know it's dangerous, and we know that unlike other health decisions, smoking has second-hand implications.

It's one thing to have a drag of a cigarette while you're out on a Saturday night, and another thing to share a photo of it with millions of fans. It's also an alarming sign of disrespect to smoke in an iconic building, filled with invaluable art, at one of the most coveted events in popular culture.

Surely if part of the way you make a living is by being an 'influencer,' you have a responsibility to consider the messages you're sending, and the consequences of those messages.

Call Quitline on 13 78 48 for a free and confidential counselling service that gives you information and advice to quit smoking.