NO, WE SHOULDN'T BE CRASH DIETING TO FIT INTO A DRESS
** THIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE MET GALA
I can’t believe this is something I have to say, but no, we shouldn’t be crash dieting to fit into a dress. Within the past week, celebrity Kim Kardashian told the world that she engaged in an extreme diet for 3 weeks to fit into her Met Gala dress. The dress in question is one previously worn by Marilyn Monroe, and Kardashian lost 16 pounds in the weeks leading up to the event in order to fit into it. Not only did she publicly share this information on the red carpet, but she shared it proudly, highlighting a dangerous issue in society in regards to crash dieting.
My first (and immediate) question was, ‘why didn’t she just wear another dress?’ It was not designed or created for Kardashian - it was crafted for Monroe. So why not just select a different outfit for the Met Gala if the sizing was incorrect? I feel like this question is on everyone’s mind, and more importantly, why wasn’t it on Kardashian’s or her stylist’s? Instead, she made it a personal challenge to fit into it within a 3 week time frame. This led to her eating a minimal diet of protein and veggies, ignoring the other important food groups and ultimately restricting her caloric intake. It is quite difficult to lose 16 pounds in 3 weeks; a healthy loss is about 2 pounds a week. As one of the most well-known and famous influencers in the world, especially on social media, why did Kardashian think that this was a healthy way to fit into a dress that was molded for a completely different body?
As someone who has been in eating disorder recovery for 10+ years, I felt triggered by her red carpet comments. She was proud. She was happy to share the ‘news’ that she lost 16 pounds to fit into this specific dress. She wanted everybody to know that this dress was all she wanted to wear, and she’d do anything in her power to make it fit. Make it fit. And you know what? You should never force anything to fit. 16 year anorexic me would’ve said otherwise; I would’ve said that I’ll make it fit, too. But forcing something to fit, instead of just embracing and accepting your individual shape, is toxic and harmful behavior.
The problem stems from the approach, the crash dieting. The immense restrictions. To happily share how you engaged with a dangerous diet is simply sending the wrong message to your legions of followers. So many people look to Kardashian for body and beauty inspiration - and the reason why is because she is known for her curvy, voluptuous, shape. She has influenced followers across multiple generations, and continues to do so via her shapewear company Skims, which also promotes a healthy shape. So is all of this just for image, to promote products? Does Kardashian believe in promoting a healthy, confident self-image, or does her admission of extreme dieting represent her true intentions?
If you take away one thing from this article, I hope it’s that you do not need to deprive yourself of nutrients and moderation to fit into a specific-sized outfit. Put your focus on your overall health, submitting to whatever cravings you may have, alongside listening to what food your body needs. We should not be crash dieting to fit into a dress - no matter who previously wore it, or where it came from, or what any celebrity tells us otherwise. We should be doing the exact opposite.