Kim Kardashian made headlines when she arrived at the 2022 Met Gala in a dress owned by Marilyn Monroe. However, her physical preparation for the event has been criticised in the days since, as she admitted to going on a crash diet that had her lose 7.3 kilograms in less than a month.
The reality TV star said she hadn't eaten "carbs and sugar in three weeks" in her bid to fit into the vintage dress.
"I had this idea to put it on and to try it on, and they came with armed guards and gloves. I tried it on and it didn’t fit me, and so I looked at them and said give me like three weeks, and I had to lose 16 pounds, down today, to be able to fit this," Kardashian told Vogue ahead of the event.
"It was such a challenge, it was like a role, I was determined to fit it.
"I would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein," Kardashian, 41, said. "I didn't starve myself, but I was so strict."
In a video posted to Instagram after the event, Kardashian described herself as "starving" as she prepared to eat doughnuts and pizza with her partner, Pete Davidson.
"OK guys, so after the Met, I am starving. And my favourite doughnuts in the entire world in New York City are these mini doughnuts!" Kardashian said in a video, before showing a stack of pizza boxes and saying: "You guys, I haven't had carbs or sugar in almost a month. Definitely three weeks ... I'm so excited."
She has since been criticised for glamorising crash diets in a bid to fit into a dress.
Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart took to Instagram to condemn Kardashian's Met Gala diet, without specifically naming the star.
"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 an [expletive] dress? So wrong," Reinhart wrote on her Instagram Story on May 3, one day after the Met Gala took place.
"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 disgusting."
Reinhart isn't alone in her criticism of Kardashian. Her views were echoed by fashion journalist Amy Odell who tweeted: "The big #MetGala fashion moment, I guess, was Kim Kardashian wearing the Marilyn Monroe dress, which she said she lost 16 pounds in three weeks to fit into. If that's not the regressive messaging this industry has tried desperately to distance from, what is?"
British author and body image advocate Stephanie Yeboah described Kardashian's diet as "disgusting and irresponsible and unhinged".
"Kim Kardashian proudly saying she went on an extreme diet to lose a stone in three weeks to fit into a dress she was only allowed to wear for less than 10 minutes is frankly disgusting and irresponsible and unhinged but hey what do I know," Yeboah wrote on Twitter.
"If it sounds like I’m shaming, I absolutely am," she added. Addressing the second half of her tweet to Kardashian directly, she wrote: "You have daughters who are growing up and seeing that behaviour as normal.
"I’m sorry but there is nothing safe or healthy about forcing oneself to lose a bit over a stone in three weeks. It’s disordered and the way it’s being normalised in the press this morning is grotesque."
Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala
Kardashian arrived at the Met Gala, often dubbed “fashion's biggest night out”, with her partner, Davidson, wearing the exact dress Monroe wore to sing Happy Birthday to US president John F Kennedy on his 45th birthday in 1962.
Dieting wasn't the only physical preparation Kardashian underwent for the event. For the full Monroe-effect, the mother-of-four — who is known for her flowing black locks — spent 14 hours dying her hair platinum blonde. Kardashian wore her hair in a tight bun on the red carpet.
The dress, which is translucent and embellished with more than 6,000 crystals, was created by French costume designer Jean-Louis, based on a sketch by American fashion designer, Bob Mackie.
The custom piece is said to have cost Monroe $1,440. In 1999, it was sold at auction for $1.26 million, making it the most expensive dress to have sold at the time. In 2016 it was sold again for $4.6m when it was acquired by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, which loaned the dress to Kardashian for the event.
Kardashian told Vogue that the museum was protective of its piece and originally sent her a replica to try on, which fit "perfectly". She was then sent the original to try.
“The dress was transported by guards and I had to wear gloves to try it on,” Kardashian said. “I always thought she was extremely curvy. I imagined I might be smaller in some places where she was bigger and bigger in places where she was smaller. So when it didn’t fit me I wanted to cry because it can’t be altered at all.”