MTV VMAs 2023: Rose McGowan reveals the real reason why she wore that iconic see-through dress in 1998

Rose McGowen's see-through VMA dress caused huge backlash for the actress “They slut-shamed me like crazy”

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The MTV VMAs is one of the music industries biggest and wildest nights of the year. It has seen some of the most shocking fashion moments over the years from Lil Kim’s  purple embellished jumpsuit to Megan Fox’s nearly naked Mugler dress that nearly broke the internet

But it was Rose McGowan, 50, who was the very first person to be seen in a see-through dress on the red carpet. The actress best known for her role as Paige Matthews in the TV series Charmed arrived at the MTV VMAs 1998 wearing a see-through dress way before the ‘naked dress’ trend was a thing. 

The barely-there outfit was a black beaded halter neck-dress that showcased the actresses bare breasts and g-string designed by Maja Hanson. 

Speaking to Page Six the fashion designer explained: “Those kinds of looks were happening on the runway at the time, but I think she was the person who took it from the runway to the red carpet,” Maja Hanson added “I don’t remember anyone doing it before her. Other people have worn similar things since then, but she was the first to really have that ‘wow’ moment.”

The scandalous outfit caused backlash for Rose McGowen who revealed that she was “slut shamed” by the media. In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment Rowan said: “They slut-shamed me like crazy. It was kind of hard. I hadn’t really ever dealt with global media shaming. But it prepared me for later on it happening to me a whole bunch. It was also like, ‘Sorry you’re square and I’m not. Bummer.”

But that wasn’t the only reason the actress decided to wear that dress. Rose McGowan - who was reportedly one of the first women to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault which then led to the #Me Too movement - explained “It was my first big public appearance after being sexually assaulted.”

“I just felt like, ‘Oh Hollywood, would you want a body just that you can use and throw away? Then I’ve got one for you!’ It was like at the end of ‘Gladiator’ when he comes out and he’s like, ‘Are you not entertained?”

The actress who attended the awards with her then boyfriend Marilyn Manson explained to Yahoo Entertainment that she didn’t wear the dress to look sexy “If you look at me, I did it with power. I didn’t do it with my hand on my hip to be sexy”

Rose McGowan released her book 'Brave' in 2018 which details McGowan’s childhood living as part of the controversial group Children of God and her alleged sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein. Rose McGowan's federal lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein was dismissed after she failed to file correct paperwork by deadline.

The former film producer and co-founder of Miramax was convicted on charges of rape and sexual assault and was sentenced to 23 years in prison in 2020.

Watch the MTV VMAs live on Paramount+ on September 12.