Sorry Kim, But Extreme Thinness Isn’t a Fashion Stunt

Fashion

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Photography by Getty Images

The reality star continues to push damaging beauty ideals.

The annual Met Gala brought celebs back to the Metropolitan Museum of Art carpet in some serious looks. From gravity-defying nature-inspired headpieces to theatrical makeup and avante-garde gowns (singer Tyla was literally wearing sand!!), the biggest stars truly pushed the limits. And that includes Kim Kardashian.

The reality TV star took to the carpet in a custom Maison Margiela look by John Galliano. The ensemble featured a cashmere cardigan draped over an antique silver brocade corset and a silver metal overskirt featuring intricate details of lace, flowers and leaves — a nod to the gala’s theme of “Sleeping Beauty: Reawakening Fashion” and dress code “The Garden of Time.”

And while Kardashian’s look was undoubtedly on theme, it was also problematic. See: Kardashian’s exaggeratedly-cinched corset, which made the star’s already typically tiny waist almost non-existent, and left the Skims founder looking uncomfortable (and possibly even a little faint?) on the carpet. Kardashian’s Met Gala 2024 look doesn’t only promote unrealistic and not to mention unsafe beauty standards, but her ability to treat extreme thinness as a fashion statement she wears here and there trivializes the real experience of people, namely those struggling with disordered eating or body dysmorphia.

To be fair, this is far from the first time that Kardashian — or any of her famous family members – have pushed unrealistic beauty standards. The famous fam has become almost as well-known for their edited photos and body modifications as they are for their infamous reality show. And year after year, Kim, specifically uses the Met Gala as a platform — and excuse — to push the limits of her body all in the name of fashion.

We saw it in 2019 when she donned a latex corseted Thierry Mugler gown, but arguably her most dangerous use of thinness as an accessory was at the 2022 Met Gala. Kardashian lost 16 pounds in three weeks in order to fit into Marilyn Monroe’s original 1962 Jean Louis gown. In a fitting ahead of fashion’s biggest night, featured on an episode of The Kardashians, the entrepreneur detailed her plan to fit into the dress, initially aiming to lose 10 pounds in three weeks with an intense workout regime (including running on a treadmill in a vinyl sauna suit — why, FYI, is *not* healthy) and eating “so clean and so perfect” (which is, again, not a healthy mindset when it comes to food).

It seems like every Met Gala, Kardashian pushes the boundaries in the unhealthiest of ways. And the 2024 Met Gala may take the cake. Continuing to promote unattainable body standards by pushing herself to be or look smaller isn’t a spectacular feat — it’s dangerous and just plain stupid. Not only for Kardashian, who at times looked like she was struggling to breath on the red carpet, but for those watching, as the behaviour reinforces the dated fallacy that you have to be thin to be high fashion,

The danger is that when someone with as much clout as Kardashian talks about toxic behaviour like this, it might encourage her young fans to follow suite, doing anything and everything to obtain a similar body to their idol. In fact, a 2022 study from the University of Toronto found that Kardashian and her sister Kylie Jenner contribute to harmful body image and discontentment with how women feel about their bodies. (Not to mention that when news circulated about Kardashian allegedly having butt enhancement surgery, interest in Google search terms for “butt enhancement” and “butt implants” increased dramatically. *Screams into the void*)

For the record, every body and every size is beautiful, but treating extreme thinness like a fashion stunt that she dusts off year after year trivializes the fact that, unlike Kardashian, who can unlace her corset at the end of the night, many people struggle with body image issues and eating disorders 365 days of the year.

Chances are that Kardashian will be invited to the Met Gala once again next year, and we’re already shuddering to think of what she pushes her body to do next.

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