15 Photos That Prove the VMAs Were Wild in the '00s

Do you know what’s truly wild about the photos from the MTV Video Music Awards in the 2000s? It’s how much has changed since all of the Destiny’s Child members were walking the red carpet together, The Hills was the must-watch TV show, and Rihanna was just a budding talent (not the total icon we know her as today). Now, with the VMAs on the horizon—they’re Monday, August 20—it seems like a perfect time for a trip down memory lane.

In the 15 examples ahead, it’s truly the fashion that sets us squarely in the ’00s. Specifically, that means dramatically low-rise pants, tons of studs and crystals, and, in the case of Lady Gaga, a dress made of meat. And as the women below make up some of our favorite artists today, it’s also delightful to see how their personal style has evolved. Is it for the better? You can make that call for yourself. Keep scrolling for 15 red carpet photos that’ll ignite your nostalgia.

Destiny's Child, 2000

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We fondly remember when Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Michelle Williams would regularly wear coordinated ensembles (designed by Tina Knowles of course). This leather-and-studded trifecta feels extra special.

Christina Aguilera, 2000

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There are so many daring details in this look, but please don’t miss those square-toe sandals. They’re actually quite on trend for 2018.

Jennifer Lopez and Diddy, 2001

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We so appreciate J.Lo’s head-to-toe monochrome commitment. As well as all the bling.

Britney Spears, 2001

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Britney Spears has been championing the lingerie trend for almost a decade now.

Gwen Stefani, 2001

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This punk-meets-nautical ensemble is one we always associate with Gwen Stefani during her No Doubt days.

Shakira, 2001

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Sparkly handkerchief tops and almost impossibly low-rise, lace-up pants feel distinctly aughts. Good work, Shakira.

Mandy Moore, 2004

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Somewhere between Mandy Moore, the pop sensation and Mandy Moore, the hit-TV-show actress, there was Mandy Moore, VMA red carpet bronze goddess.

Rihanna, 2005

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Three words… Shrunken. Bedazzled. Vest.

Heidi Montag and Lauren Conrad, 2006

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Yes, the stars of The Hills attended the red carpet together, both wearing spider heels.

Rihanna, 2007

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Here’s Rihanna again—this time she swapped the micro-vest for a glamorous bombshell gown.

Katy Perry, 2008

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A relative newcomer at the time, Perry displayed her signature red carpet punk sensibilities in this sparkly pinup–inspired number.

Taylor Swift, 2009

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The 2009 VMAs may be particularly memorable for Swift, and no one will forget this one-shoulder “naked” dress either.

Solange Knowles, 2009

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Solange Knowles is another fashion icon who loves to experiment. But in 2009, we were just seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her creative fashion choices.

Nicki Minaj, 2010

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Nicki Minaj kept her ensemble quite simple and non-flashy, aside from her trademark pink locks.

Lady Gaga, 2010

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We’ll leave you with Lady Gaga’s meat dress, a VMA classic.

Next, I saved 83 pictures of gold jewelry on Instagram, and these are the top 16 pieces.