The Riskiest Looks in MTV VMAs History Will Make Your Jaw Drop

The MTV Video Music Awards have churned out some of celebrities most memorable red carpet looks over the years. Ahead of the 2023 VMAs Sept. 12, look back on the iconic outfits.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Sep 07, 2023 4:00 PMTags
Watch: 2022 MTV VMAs Best Red Carpet Fashion: Taylor Swift, BLACKPINK & More

The 2023 MTV Video Music Awards are right around the corner, and with the show comes a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the most iconic outfits to ever hit the carpet.

And indeed, the VMAs have definitely been a night that has served up some of the most jaw-dropping looks.

After all, no one will ever forget Lady Gaga's 2010 meat dress, which saw the singer dressed head to toe in raw beef. In addition to chunky silver jewelry and a bubble-gum pink hairstyle, Gaga completed her beef-wrapped look with both a hat and boots made out of meat.  

Plus, back in 2002 Britney Spears rocked an all-black halter dress—which was a far cry from her usual glitzy gowns at the time—just two years after Pink wowed fans with her fluorescent pink spiked hair and fur length coat. And before them came Lil Kim and her head-to-toe lilac ensemble for the 1999 ceremony that left part of the rapper's chest exposed, covered only by a sequined, seashell nipple cover.

MTV VMAs: The Most Memorable Moments of All Time

Now, ahead of the 2023 VMAs—held September 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT—we have no doubt stars like Demi Lovato, Doja Cat, Shakira, Kelsea Ballerini and more will wow us when they step out at New Jersey's Prudential Center.

Until then, keep reading to look back on the riskiest looks to come from the award show over the years.

Lady Gaga

Ahh the meat dress. Who could forget this wild moment from the 2010 VMAs? (The answer is no one.)

Britney Spears

The "Stronger" singer said goodbye to the frilly, girly and glitzy gowns she was known for. At the 2002 ceremony, she shocked the crowd with her audacious black halter dress, lace-up heels, gloves and captain hat. 

Nicki Minaj

Nicki arrived at the 2011 show in this larger-than-life ensemble—the remnants of stuffed animals lined her legs, people.


Raise your glass to this fierce lewk. Not one for following trends, the singer graced the red carpet with vibrant pink spikey hair, low-rise jeans, a gold sequins halter top and bold coat.


Vogue! The pop star struck a pose at the 1984 awards ceremony in her iconic white-hot dress, lace gloves and statement jewelry pieces.

Amber Rose

Rawr: In 2018, the model accessorized her bondage-inspired, red latex bodysuit with a cat mask and whip, of course.

Lil Kim

Back in '98, the rapper gave new meaning to color coordination. Her wig, jumpsuit, pasties and lipstick all matched, making this lilac look instantly iconic.


One word: Yeehaw! Diplo surprised fans and viewers at the 2019 event with his wildly colorful get-up. From his patterned suit to the matching cowboy hat and flashy belt buckle, this was an unforgettable red carpet moment.

Justina Valentine

A fashion statement, literally. The 33-year-old rapper had an important message to share as she walked the red carpet in a rainbow-colored jumpsuit.

Jennifer Lopez

The same year J.Lo wore her legendary green Versace dress, she also rocked this all-white ensemble to the 2000 MTV VMAs. From the bedazzled bandana to the glitzy Sean John crop top, this is a lewk to remember.

Cindy Crawford

The Versace design that dropped jaws and turned heads. The supermodel sizzled at the 1992 ceremony with this dominatrix-esque dress.

Katy Perry

The "Fireworks" singer brought the glitz and the glamour to the 2008 ceremony. However, she kept her ensemble playful and flirty with purple heels, a feathered accessory, a diamond hairpiece and a patriotic purse.

Destiny's Child

Triple threat! The trio mixed dazzling with daring at the 2000 show. From the bedazzled bustiers to the latex leather bottoms, Destiny's Child stunned in these uniquely designed outfits.

Miley Cyrus

In 2015, Miley let it all hang out in this bedazzled chrome number. 

Ava Max

Bam! The 26-year-old star was a force on the red carpet with her superhero-inspired ensemble.

Gwen Stefani

Gwen's iconic '98 style will forever be admired, including this get-up. The blue hair, matching bikini top, face jewelry and hula-hoop skirt paired with pants truly embodied the "more is more" approach.


Sky almost freed the nipple with her sparkly pasties, which perfectly matched her 2018 sparkly suit.

Christina Aguilera

The "Dirrty" singer's Y2K uniform pretty much consisted of this always—barely-there mini skirts, scarves as tops and page boy-esque hats.

Baddie Winkle

Channeling her best Britney Spears in "Toxic," Baddie's red carpet outfit packed major personality.

Rose McGowan

Before Rihanna hit the CFDA Awards in 2014, there was Rose at the MTV VMAs in this see-through number. 

Rita Ora

She never lets us down! Arriving on the red carpet in 2018, the Brit left little to the imagination with this sheer gown.

Bella Hadid

The supermodel left the typical dress at home, and instead, opted for something fun, flirty and fierce.

Macy Gray

Back in 2001, Instagram wasn't yet a thing, so Macy took it upon herself to throw in some shameless self-promotion.

Jessie J

We applaud the singer's determination to not let her injury get in the way of a fabulous outfit.

Amber Rose & Blac Chyna

Twins! Leave it to Amber and BFF Blac Chyna to make a serious statement on the red carpet. 

Farrah Abraham

In 2016, the reality star went full Wonder Woman—literally.

Mariah Carey

The "Fantasy" singer brought... well, the fantasy to the red carpet in 1997. Although her black co-ord set is simple, it's oh so striking.

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