TV personality and influencer Kim Kardashian appeared at the 2022 Met Gala as a Marilyn Monroe look-alike, and revealed she had to lose seven kgs in three weeks to fit into the dress. Is the influencer promoting FAD diets by confessing to adopting unhealthy ways? The Quint spoke to experts to find out.
Kim Kardashian on Fitting Into Her Met Gala Dress
The dress Kim chose for this year's Met Gala was worn in 1962 by the legendary actor Marilyn Monroe when she sang 'Happy Birthday' for US president John F Kennedy.
“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,” Kim said while speaking to a fashion magazine.
What Experts Have to Say About Kim's Remarks & FAD Diets
At a time when people are advocating body positivity, inclusivity, and adopting healthy ways to stay fit, Kim's remarks did not go down well with most.
Fatema Kapadia, Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist, tells The Quint that statements like these can affect the mental well-being of people struggling with weight loss and ‘can lead to developing a certain negative and low self-esteem’.
“It can be damaging to the morale of people, and in extreme cases affect one’s well-being and relationships. We are seeing an increasing trend wherein youngsters and adults are adopting extreme methods to improve their physical appearance rather than focusing on their inner health. Such trends are also significantly affecting their psychological safety.”Fatema Kapadia, Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist
Celebrity fitness coach and trainer Shivoham urges people to not follow a diet a celebrity/influencer speaks about for quick results.
“I understand that sometimes people need to lose weight quickly, but the celebrities do so under the supervision of a trained team - a nutritionist, a doctor, who monitor their health parameters. It’s all done under medical supervision.”
While FAD diets help in losing weight, it comes with ‘a lot of restrictions and limitations’.
“They usually result in elimination of proteins, fats and carbs, or micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. That cause multiple health issues such as hormonal problems and reduction in metabolic rate over a period of time.Neha Sahaya, Nutrition and Wellness consultant.
In order to achieve her goal, Kim had said that she had to make a drastic change in her lifestyle. She was quoted in an interview as saying, “I wore 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. I didn’t starve myself, but I was very strict.”
'Primary Goal Shouldn't Be Weight Loss'
Neha Sahaya stresses that one should follow a diet that suits their lifestyle. “Fad diets are not sustainable in the long run and can result in weight gain and other issues. The primary goal should not be weight loss, but to be healthy and fit".
Shivoham, who trains celebrities like Ranbir Kapoor, agrees on the importance of making changes to one’s lifestyle that can become a way of life. “You need to give time for any diet to work for you. The body will respond when you change things, and as soon as you stop it will go back to ground zero. That’s where your body is comfortable. Unless you do something that is long-term it is not sustainable. Cutting sugar from your diet is good, but make these changes slowly".
He advises, making lifestyle changes and being patient. “If you want to lose weight you have to have a certain food deficit. It’s about the quantity of food – ensure you have carbs and protein in your diet. When you start a diet give it time and along with it ensure that you exercise too. Ensure your sleep pattern is healthy, skip alcohol, manage stress and make lifestyle changes that will become a way of life. It all goes hand in hand.”
When a celebrity promotes shedding the extra pounds with FAD diets, it can have an impact on a lay person struggling with losing weight.
“Social media influencers and celebrities are making a lot of money by advertising FAD diets. Diets like Keto, Dukan, replacement shakes, cabbage soup diet, GM diets are causing more harm to the body than good. A study in UCLA has found that most people who follow these diets tend to gain more weight than they have lost".Kritika Dharia, clinical psychologist.
She adds that weight gain is also linked to psychological factors, “Running away from feelings, insecurity, need for protection, seeking fulfilment are some psychological factors that can contribute to weight gain as well. Identifying these emotions and addressing them can help you feel more secure and help you with weight loss.”
Neha Dhupia to Vidya Balan: Celebs Advocate Body Positivity
A celebrity’s life is always under the scanner. The pressure to look a certain way at all times is immense. Bollywood celebrities have faced their share of body shaming. A number of female actors have spoken out against the flawed notions of beauty and have advocated body positivity.
Neha Dhupia was trolled for gaining weight during her pregnancy, but she was never perturbed by it. The actor took to social media and slammed the trolls in a post. “I don’t owe anyone an explanation because fat shaming like this doesn’t bother me one bit. But I do want to address this as a larger problem because fat shaming needs to stop for EVERYONE not just celebs.”
Vidya Balan, who is known for her stellar performances, had given into the pressure back in 2012 and adopted a strict diet - depriving herself of eating what she loved and adopted an intense workout regime. She gave it up in 2019 when she realised she would land up gaining weight again.
Vidya had said in an interview that her weight had become a ‘national issue’ and she eventually learnt to be happy in her own skin,
“Over time, I accepted that my body is the only thing that is keeping me alive because the day my body stops functioning, I am not going to be around. I have a lot of gratitude for my body. It doesn’t matter what I have been through, I am alive because of this body. It’s blood and bones. With each day I have begun to love and accept myself more, but it’s not been easy. You have to fake it till you make it”, she said.
Recently, Nimrat Kaur took to Instagram to speak about gaining weight for her role in Dasvi and how people around her reacted to it.
"This is about what I began to notice along the way. Ever so often, watching me eat high calorie meals already being a few sizes bigger, some people around me felt they had the right to comment on what they thought I was doing wrong. It would be a snide remark, an uncalled for joke or simply an unsolicited piece of advice on what I should be eating instead of a dessert I was enjoying very much. “ The actress concluded the post by encouraging people to ‘be responsible’, “make only your mind and body your business. No one else's" Nimrat wrote.