The above image, known as Three Wise Monkeys, has long represented an old proverb:
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
I’m using the image to describe how I feel about anything Kardashian-related:
Don’t make me hear it, don’t make me see it, or it will make me vomit.
The Kardashians, about whom I know enough to know that they’re famous for being famous…
…and that’s more than I want to know.
For years I have studiously avoided everything Kardashian-related.
Until a recent article caught my eye in – of all things – the Health section of my newspaper.
Something Kardashian-related – in a newspaper’s Health section?
Dared I hope that all the Kardashians decided to be cryogenically frozen – kind of like popsicles – and be thawed out maybe…a thousand years from now?
This required investigating.
The article I read in the San Diego Union-Tribune originally appeared in the Washington Post, on May 10:
The story says that on May 2, Kim Kardashian attended the Met Gala, which goes by several names:
“The Met Gala, or Met Ball, formally called the Costume Institute Gala or the Costume Institute Benefit…”
And its purpose:
“…is an annual fundraising gala held for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.”
Kardashian, who clearly hates having her picture taken…
…garnered plenty of attention, though much of it was not favorable, for several reasons.
Reason #1: Kardashian was wearing a very famous – even iconic – 60-year-old gown, originally worn by Marilyn Monroe in 1962, when she attended a birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden for President John Kennedy and sang Happy Birthday to him:
The dress was designed for Monroe, and no one has worn the dress since Monroe’s 1962 appearance. According to this article:
“Kardashian borrowed the dress from Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando, not an accredited museum. The novelty museum bought the work at auction in 2016 for $4.8 million.”
I love how the writer snarkily noted that Ripley’s is “not an accredited museum.”
Here’s the dress in Ripley’s Believe It or Not:
The artnet article continues,
“Textile conservators, including the former head of the Met’s fashion conservation department, Sarah Scarturro, blasted the socialite.”
The article linked to Scarturro’s Instagram account, where she went on at length, including this:
“‘When I was the head of the Costume Institute’s conservation lab, I had to swat off requests by people…to have irreplaceable objects in the collection be worn by models and celebrities.’”
So, huge pushback from people knowledgeable about the fragility of old textiles.
Though I can’t help but wonder how Monroe’s dress – a one-of-a-kind, worn-once, “irreplaceable object” – ended up in a tacky roadside attraction like this:
Side-by-side with stuff like Ripley’s Lizard Man?
Why weren’t Scarturro and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute front and center in 2016 when they could have been the high bidders for Monroe’s gown, instead of Ripley’s?
Here’s the second reason the Kardashian-in-Monroe-dress story garnered so much bad press:
Reason #2: Scarturro was also among the many who bemoaned Kardashian’s besmirching both Marilyn’s dress and her legend, saying:
“…in the end Kim Kardashian is no Marilyn Monroe.”
Other social media storm comments included:
“Marilyn’s image being bastardized and boiled down to ‘sex symbol’ like she wasn’t a woman who was unfortunately exploited her entire life by all the men that have come and gone and even after death she couldn’t even rest in peace.”
“A wealthy woman lifting her own celebrity off of a woman who was once poor and continued to be exploited her whole life just isn’t sitting right.”
And a quote from this article:
Was especially interesting:
“Another person who didn’t love Kardashian’s choices? Fashion designer Bob Mackie, who drew the sketch for the original gown in his early career working as an assistant to Jean Louis. ‘I thought it was a big mistake. [Marilyn] was a goddess. A crazy goddess, but a goddess. She was just fabulous. Nobody photographs like that. And it was done for her. It was designed for her. Nobody else should be seen in that dress.’”
Let’s move on to the third reason Kardashian came in for criticism…
Reason #3 – and for that, we’ll revisit the Washington Post story:
Ahh. That’s why the Kardashian story was in the Health section of my newspaper.
But “potentially harmful”? What’s that all about?
It seems that in an interview, Kardashian shared “the extreme three-week 16-pound weight-loss regimen she undertook to squeeze into” Marilyn’s dress.
“The reality TV star was excoriated on social media not only for publicizing her potentially harmful crash diet…”
Many online articles I checked (from sources I felt were credible) say a weight loss of one to two pounds per week is considered healthy.
Kardashian claims she lost 16 pounds in three weeks.
The articles suggested consequences of losing weight too quickly, including losing muscle instead of fat; becoming malnourished and/or dehydrated; digestive problems; tiredness; a slowed metabolism; and a painful condition known as gallstones.
Actress Lili Reinhart weighed in on Kardashian’s crash diet on Instagram, as quoted in this article:
“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 fucking dress?”
“So wrong. So fucked on 100s of levels. 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. The ignorance is other-worldly and disgusting. Please stop supporting these stupid, harmful celebrities whose entire image revolves around their bodies.”
Whoa, Lili! Don’t mince words!
But it wasn’t just Kardashian’s crash diet – she was also “excoriated” for…
“…advocating unhealthy slimming strategies in the past – including endorsing and selling a popular shapewear product that persists against the best medical advice: the waist trainer.”
Now we come to the “waist trainer” in the Washington Post headline.
What the hell is a “waist trainer”?
The Washington Post enlightened me:
“Waist trainers, for those not in the know, are undergarments that create an hourglass figure by tightly compressing the waist. They gained popularity during the 2010s thanks to praise from celebrities and Instagram influencers including the Kardashian family, and remain so despite being roundly panned by health experts.”
“If the concept sounds familiar, that’s because it is. ‘They’re basically glorified corsets,’ said Stephanie Faubion, the director of Mayo Clinic Women’s Health in Jacksonville, FL. ‘I’m sorry to see that we’ve reverted to the 1800s.’”
Let’s have a look.
The image on the left is from 1899; the image on the right is online:
I’d agree with the corset comparison. And I’d agree with Stephanie Faubion’s “reverted to the 1800s.”
But “glorified”? I think not:
“Those who endorse waist trainers on social media claim that wearing them regularly, for a period of months, trains their waist into an hourglass shape…”
“But health experts say the alleged benefits are all hype. In fact, ‘the name waist trainer is a misnomer,’ said Faubion. ‘It’s not training your waist to do anything different. It’s not going to change your shape. It’s your waist – it’s not a dog.’”
The article goes on to detail possible waist trainer side effects, including:
- Restricting your breathing. “Kardashian wore a waist trainer to the 2019 Met Gala and revealed that she had to take corset-breathing lessons.”
- Affecting your internal organs: “Long-term use can shift your organs – like your kidneys – into unnatural positions, and even cut off the blood flow that allows them to function properly.”
- Causing digestive issues: “Waist trainers squish your digestive system, which could lead to constipation by ‘blocking the normal motility and flow of materials through the intestines.’”
- Weakening your musculoskeletal system. “Sleeping in one or wearing one all day, week after week, will dissipate core strength.”
Kardashian is encouraging females to wear body-distorting undergarments like 19th-century women did – We’ve come a long way, baby! NOT!
And to the probable detriment of females’ health.
Good ole Kimmy is not only endorsing waist trainers – she’s selling them at her shapewear company, SKIMS.
Here’s Kardashian, from the Washington Post article :
I’m guessing Kardashian wasn’t wearing one of her body-distorting undergarments under the Marilyn Monroe dress at the 2022 Met Gala since, according to this article:
The article states that resolution was reached:
“After some serious teamwork, the group managed to get the dress over her butt, but were unable to actually fasten the zip, instead securing the opening with a piece of string.”
Hence, I guess, the strategically placed fur thing:
According to the various stories, after her appearance on the red carpet in the Monroe dress, Kardashian changed into a different dress.
Presumably this dress that did not require the string solution.
I’ve now gone from this about anything Kardashian-related…
Don’t make me hear it, don’t make me see it, or it will make me vomit.
To spending an inordinate amount of time hearing, seeing – and talking – about something Kardashian-related.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go wash out my ears, eyes and mouth with soap…