YouTuber Tana Mongeau and singer H.E.R. both wore live snakes on the red carpet Monday for the 2019 MTV VMAs. The sartorial runway in New Jersey was full of unexpected outfits and extras, but only these two celebrities wore living reptiles to the Prudential Center in Newark.
The 21-year-old YouTube celebrity showed up first. She had on a pair of trendy sunglasses and a low-cut dress that featured an elaborate design in brown, gold, and yellow. Her albino boa constrictor handily matched her ensemble.
Meanwhile, H.E.R. also wore sunglasses on the VMAs red carpet. Her hair was rocking many small braids while her outfit was mainly green. Her complimentary python came complete with a name. The singer called the snake Big Momma.
While Tana wore her snake around her waist, H.E.R. wore her snake around her shoulders. Both celebrities were probably paying respect to Britney Spears who famously wore a snake while she performed “I’m a Slave 4 U” during the 2001 VMAs.
But times have changed. Even though the gimmick for which Tana and H.E.R. were likely trying to channel Britney with their slithering accessories that caused a stir, that wasn’t necessarily a good thing.
In fact, no matter whatever reason each entertainer offered for including the reptile as part of her outfit, that effort was not appreciated by certain social media responders. Some did not think that using live animals in this way was politically, or any other way, correct. Others believed that the act of making these reptiles into fashion accessories was nothing less than obscene.
— Ed ???????? (@ed_matute3) August 26, 2019
“I usually have no opinions on this girl but I’m so mad at this — is she for real?” asked one Twitter user, adding, “Keep in mind pythons are actually very docile and shy snakes… they want to be left alone. In fact, most reptiles hate being handled.”
This comment was followed by a hashtag calling for everyone to “save the snake” and another general hashtag stating “it’s not necessary.”
Others hit up H.E.R.’s YouTube video that showed off her snake with their opinions.
“Can’t stop cringing at them petting the snake in the wrong direction. Jeez, people think about it, you’re grown adults not toddlers at a petting zoo. It’s like when people do that to cats and dogs and leave their hair all scruffed up in the wrong direction, like what is wrong with you??!”
And then this commenter got to the heart of the matter.
“…why are we even here? Living animals aren’t fashion.”
“This is so wrong, that snake looked like it’s been highly sedated…sad,” spouted another animal rights advocate.
“That snake is clearly stressed out. This isn’t cute,” said yet another caring person.
— Blk Girl Culture (@blkgirlculture) August 26, 2019
And so, as Tana Mongeau and H.E.R. twinned by wearing live snakes in Newark, New Jersey, for the 2019 MTV VMAs, neither party seemed to be fazed that their dates weren’t very popular on the red carpet. Still, talk about making an entrance. This may well be the most disturbing of the night.