Why you shouldn’t emulate Kim Kardashian’s drastic weight loss for the Met Gala

·4-min read

It feels like the entire internet was waiting to see what Kim Kardashian would wear to the Met Gala this year. When she showed up in a dress once worn by Marilyn Monroe, she certainly had people talking. Bringing the historical relic back to the public eye seems harmless enough, except for the fact that the dress was apparently too small for the reality TV star and entrepreneur when she first tried it on. Kardashian admitted she had to lose a considerable amount of weight in a short period of time in order to fit into the dress that could not be altered.

Kim Kardashian talks about her drastic weight loss for Met Gala

“I tried it on, and it didn’t fit me,” Kardashian told a Vogue correspondent on the red carpet at the event, according to People. “I said, ‘Give me three weeks.’ I had to lose 16 pounds (7.2 kg) down today.”

In order to fit into the dress, Kardashian said she wore a sauna suit twice a day, ran on the treadmill, and “completely cut out all sugar and all carbs,” Vogue reported. “I didn’t starve myself, but I was so strict,” she said in the interview.

Here’s the thing, clothes are supposed to fit people, not the other way around. Kardashian admitting to giving herself three weeks to lose 16 pounds (7.2 kg) is simply dangerous — as is the nonchalant reporting of the topic by various publications. In the health field, rapid weight loss is a concerning symptom that can indicate an underlying condition, such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, depression, and cancer. But society often congratulates people for losing weight rapidly without question, no matter how disordered and unhealthy the tactics.

In Kardashian’s case, those tactics included intense workouts and eliminating carbs and sugar. First of all, sugar is a type of carb, but the food group as a whole shouldn’t be demonised because carbs are necessary for the body. Carbs can boost your mood by promoting the production of serotonin, a mood-stabilising hormone. There are also carbs that provide heart-healthy soluble fibre, which can help with the feeling of fullness and reduce constipation. Some can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, too. Without carbs, the body doesn’t have access to fibre, which can then lead to high levels of cholesterol, especially if the protein choices include higher levels of saturated fat.

Unfortunately, disordered eating has become so normalised that you might not even recognise it as such. This is why you may not have questioned when a celebrity casually discusses cutting out entire food groups to fit into a piece of clothing. ICYDK, disordered eating can look like restricting intake of food to control one’s weight or body shape, participating in excessive exercise regimens, restricting food groups, and exhibiting compulsive eating or binge eating patterns. Needless to say, none of these tactics are sustainable. In fact, they often lead to weight cycling (constant losing and gaining of weight), which experts now know can have adverse health effects on the body.

That’s why it’s so problematic when someone in the spotlight such as Kardashian, who has more than 300 million followers on Instagram and is often studied and emulated, speaks so flippantly about extreme weight loss measures. She’s a wealthy celebrity with access to health care and mental health services. So while her weight loss tactics may be dangerous, health professionals are more than likely close by. The average individual — especially those with a history of disordered eating habits — might not be as lucky.

While what Kardashian did in order to fit into her Met Gaga dress was clearly unhealthy, it’s unsurprising considering the pressure society puts on people, especially celebrities, to look a certain way and make a grand entrance. The fad diets, juice cleanses, and pills that make up a USD 72 billion weight loss industry often tell people that if they just hold themselves accountable and try hard, they can achieve the “ideal” body, but that’s not realistic, whether you’re famous or not.

This story first appeared on www.shape.com

(Main and Feature Image Credit: Getty Images)

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