TW: disordered eating, body image.
So the Kardashians don’t promote the healthiest body standards — this has long been the case, and none of us should really be that surprised anymore. I mean, we’re talking waist-training, laxative tea and skinny lollipop-promoting, extreme Photoshopping people here.
Still, I truly believed that even Kim Kardashian would stop short of bragging about a crash diet she went on just to fit into a dress. I mean, how 2002 of her, right?
Unfortunately, it seems I was too optimistic: The SKIMS founder proudly told vogue at the Met Gala the story of how she fit into Marilyn Monroe’s iconic dress.
“I tried it on, and it didn’t fit me, and so I looked at them and I said, ‘give me like three weeks,’” she said. “And I had to lose 16 pounds down today to be able to fit this, but it was such a challenge, it was like a roll. I was determined. I was determined to fit it.”
In vogue‘s accompanying piece, the celeb detailed how exactly she lost the weight. “I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all the sugar and all the carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,” she said. “I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.”
Through her admission, Kardashian is sending the message that it’s OK, or even desirable, to go on a crash diet to fit into our clothes. And even though so many of us may have done it, or have wanted to do it, I want to be very clear that it isn’t OK. Clothes fit you, not the other way around. If Kardashian wanted to fit into this very special dress, that’s her prerogative, but she should keep that information to herself — not encourage her fans to follow suit, because that’s just one step removed from actively promoting disordered eating.
I’m not the only one who’s mad about this: Not only are op-eds popping up left and right decrying Kardashian’s story, but public figures are also voicing their disapproval loud and clear.
“To walk a red carpet and do an interview saying how starving you are because you haven’t eaten carbs in the last month… all to fit in af-king dress?” actress Lili Reinhart wrote in her Instagram Stories (via In Touch Weekly).
“So wrong. So f–ked on 100’s of levels. To openly admit to starving yourself for the sake of the Met Gala. When you knew very well that millions of young men and women are looking up to you and listening to your every word. “
Jameela Jamil also addressed the incident, writing on Instagram Stories, “All I will say is: celebrities, if you do something as unhealthy as deliberately losing 16lbs in 3 weeks, please don’t publicly announce it.” Yup.
I spoke to Isa Robinson, a Registered Associate Nutritionist and Nutritional Therapist based in the UK to find out her her thoughts on it all. “It is no surprise with this sort of gloating about what is frankly disordered eating and starvation under the guise of discipline, ‘health,’ power and beauty that we have coincidentally seen rates of eating disorders double between 2008-2018,” Robinson tells Marie Claire.
“Equally, research is showing an epidemic of body image dissatisfaction in our young people with 50% of adolescent girls reporting body image dissatisfaction and children as young as 5 going on diets. It is the promotion of comments and stories such as these which are literally fertilizing the soil for eating disorders to develop and thrive. “
If you are looking to lose weight, experts recommend aiming for no more than 1-2 pounds a week in order to do so healthily. “Everyone is different and the amount which is suitable to lose in a week varies according to body type,” he says Penny Weston, a fitness, wellness and nutrition expert and founder of MADE wellness center. “A weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is recommended as a safe rate for healthy weight loss.”
This article has been updated.