About a month ago, Kardashian, 41, wore Marilyn Monroe’s skin-tight, sparkling nude dress that the singer and performer wore to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
In order to fit into the figure-hugging piece of history, Kardashian told pal LaLa Anthony on the red carpet that she lost 16 pounds in order to don the dress, which couldn’t be altered.
Headlines swirled off of the fashion moment — both about her being coupled up with new boyfriend Pete Davidson and about her rapid weight loss. Experts and fans began to worry the reality TV star was glamorizing an unhealthy diet culture.
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However, Kardashian told The New York Times she stands by her decision to rapidly shed the pounds.
“To me it was like, ‘OK, Christian Bale can do it for a movie role and that is acceptable.’ Even Renée Zellweger gained weight for a role. It’s all the same to me,” Kardashian said in the interview published Wednesday.
Bale dropped to nearly 121 pounds to play an insomniac in 2004’s film “The Machinist” and Zellweger gained weight for her iconic role in 2001’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary.” Kardashian isn’t an actress (though she tried it out during her “Saturday Night Live” debut), but she saw fitting into Monroe’s dress as a leading role.
Kardashian’s crash diet took place over three weeks, prompting concern from critics and experts.
Critics on social media worried that Kardashian’s choice glamorized diet culture, using weight loss as an aesthetic choice, not one for health or wellness.
She told Vogue in May her weight loss was achieved through wearing a sauna suit, running on the treadmill and cutting all sugar and carbs, mostly leaning on vegetables and protein.
Obesity specialist Catherine Varney for the University of Virginia Health System wrote that Kardashian’s choice concerned her for its potential to be normalized by “indirect promotion.”
“I want to believe that most people know her weight-loss techniques were concerning and unrealistic,” she wrote in UVA’s health blog. “But I’ve seen enough adolescents in my primary care practice to know that normalizing this behavior by indirect promotion in the media is harmful.”
But Kardashian described the weight loss as a personal decision and didn’t believe it had negative health consequences.
“I wasn’t saying, ‘Hey everyone, why don’t you go lose this weight in a short period of time?’ ” Kardashian told New York Times in the recently published interview, adding “I didn’t do anything unhealthy.”
Angela Lemond, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has warned against making drastic cuts to food groups for weight loss, previously telling USA TODAY that “food is energy for our body, and we should not be afraid to eat whole wholesome foods.”
We should focus on the foods that we should eat versus ones we shouldn’t eat,” Lemond added.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are risks with cutting “entire food groups like carbs or dairy” including digestive issues, lower immunity, loss of bone density and even hair loss.
Kardashian told the New York Times that if she didn’t fit into Monroe’s dress she “just simply couldn’t have gone” to the gala, though she only wore it for a few minutes before changing into a replica so as not to damage the original.
“It was just important to me to reach that goal,” she added.