Kim Kardashian’s MET Gala adventure, with the socialite donning an iconic dress once worn by Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe, hasn’t gone down well with many. In order to fit into the dress, which was a few sizes too small, Kardashian shared that she underwent a jaw-dropping seven-kilogram weight loss in under three weeks, drawing the ire of netizens and celebrities alike for promoting unhealthy beauty standards and dangerous eating habits. The reality TV star was also chastised by conservators, who protested against Kardashian wearing the historic garment, which is considered a cultural artefact.
According to Vogue, Kardashian wore the dress, loaned to her by Ripley’s Believe it or Not, for a matter of minutes, changing into a replica at the top of the MET’s steps. In a video shared by Ripley’s, it was revealed that Kardashian could not manage to get the dress zipped over her butt, which is why she opted for a fur coat to cover it up.
Met Gala — In America: An Anthology of Fashion
I am so honored to be wearing the iconic dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in 1962 to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy. It is a stunning skintight gown adorned with more than 6,000 hand-sewn crystals by Jean Louis. pic.twitter.com/o9auAd2tF8
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) May 3, 2022
Calling out Kardashian, who reportedly only ate tomatoes to fit into the dress, Riverdale actor Lili Reinhart took to Instagram to air out her frustration. She shared, “To walk on a red carpet and do an interview where you say how starving you are … because you haven’t eaten carbs in the last month … all to fit in a f**king dress?” She added, “So wrong. So f**ked on 100s of levels.”
The actor continued, “To openly admit to starving yourself for the sake of the Met Gala. When you know very well that millions of young men and women are looking up to you and listening to your every word.”
Reinhart added, “The ignorance is other-worldly and disgusting. Please stop supporting these stupid, harmful celebrities whose entire image revolves around their bodies. I am not generally an angry person but I swear to god, the toxicity of this industry really gets to me sometimes and I have to do my little Instagram-story rants to release my rage.”
The star of The Kardashians shared with Reuters that she lost the weight so that she could wear the iconic dress that Monroe sported in 1962. “It was such a challenge,” Kardashian said. “It was like a role. I was determined to fit this.”
Speaking to Vogue, the socialite shared her initial disappointment at not being able to fit into the dress, “I always thought she was extremely curvy. I imagined I might be smaller in some places where she was bigger and bigger in places where she was smaller. So when it didn’t fit me I wanted to cry because it can’t be altered at all.”
Sharing the diet and exercise regimen that followed, Kardashian shared, “I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein,” adding, “I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict.”
Criticising Kardashian, a Twitter user wrote, “Kim Kardashian proudly saying she went on an extreme diet to lose a stone in three weeks to fit into a dress she was only allowed to wear for less than 10 minutes is frankly disgusting and irresponsible and unhinged.”
On the harmful effects of Kardashian proudly sharing her weight loss, another wrote, “Studies show that 1 in 3 teenage girls suffer from body issues. I have struggled with this too. Hearing Kim Kardashian [lost] weight just to fit into a dress is ofc going to fuel this. Why don’t we just normalise buying clothes that fit rather than having to fit in?”
The reality TV star’s trainer, however, has defended her weight loss, stressing that she did so in a healthy way. They shared with TMZ, “I mean I was there through the process, so it wasn’t like a starving yourself type of thing. I mean she went on a real balanced diet and at times, you know, she wouldn’t eat as much. But then the second thing was she was in the gym and put the work in.”
Art historians have also called out Kardashian for potentially damaging the valuable dress. Sarah Scaturro, chief conservator at the Cleveland Museum of Art and formerly a conservator at the Met’s Costume Institute shared with Los Angeles Times, “In the ’80s, a bunch of costume professionals came together to state a resolution that historic costume should not be worn. So my worry is that colleagues in historic costume collections are now going to be pressured by important people to let them wear garments.”
The gown is the most expensive dress ever sold at an auction, with Kevin Jones, curator of the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising sharing, “Whenever you move, something is giving way, even if you can’t see it. Under a microscope, it would show all these little splits. And over time that would be a big problem.”