You’d be mistaken for thinking the guest of honour at the Met Gala weren’t co-hosts Harry Styles or Lady Gaga - but Kim Kardashian’s teeny tiny waist. Unlike her half sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Kim entirely ignored the theme Fashion: Notes On Camp to wear what Kim knows best - her favourite designer, Thierry Mulger, in bodycon. But instead of donning a vintage look, the reality queen instead lured Mulger out of his twenty-year retirement, just so he could craft a wet-look bodycon dress, dripping in crystals, which took eight - yes, eight! - months to create.
But the effort which went into the creation might as well have been forgotten, because the most of the attention centred solely on her waist. Or rather, her lack of it. American tabloids like Page Six were quick off the mark to suggest that her figure was thanks to something more sinister, namely having her ribs removed. Fashion fans were just as confused. ‘Where did Kim Kardashian’s internal organs spend the night at Met Gala,’ somebody quipped on Twitter. ‘Because I can’t figure out how anatomically possible it would be to fit them all inside that tiny waist.’
But - according to Kim, at least - the answer seemed to be sartorial, rather than surgical. In a behind-the-scenes video for Vogue, where the star was filmed getting ready, it was revealed that the Mr Pearl corset she wore underneath the dress was so severe that she was prepared to sacrifice sitting down, eating and peeing at the gala. ‘Wish me luck,’ she deadpans to the camera, while having her fixed into waves by celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton. ‘I won't be able to pee for about four hours.’ (She was taken to the gala by van, where she stood with a pole as she couldn’t sit.)
But still, the criticism continued - with many refusing to believe, even with the help of corsets and the world’s top designers, that her doll-like figure was legit (with many drawing comparisons to the difference between Kim’s waist last year).
One person who was not having it was Kim’s personal trainer, Melissa Alcantara, who lashed out on her Instagram stories. ‘To make things clear,' she began. '1. This dress is corseted BUT 2. Kim trains her ass off 6 days a fucking week, she wakes up early AF and is dedicated. 3. I paved the road for her but SHE did the work! MOST IMPORTANTLY I don't give a shit about your opinions on her body, if you think she's fake or not! I see her every morning, I see her train and I see her sweat and I see all the work she does outside the gym and THAT is commendable!’
Alcantara might not 'give a shit', but there is a debate to be had over the body standards that Kim Kardashian helps to set - because it has a real, tangible impact on young women.
Whether or not you think her body is au naturel, there’s no denying that Kim works out - and she works out hard. Alcantara helps her train six days a week, for an hour and a half a day, which she has said Kim will never cancel. And God forbid any post-exercise treats, because Melissa also reportedly ‘purged her pantry of anything unhealthy or unnecessarily processed’ (aka ‘vanilla wafers, graham crackers and rice crispy treats’ according to E! Australia). Kim also used to be devoted to the low-carb Atkins diet, which is reported to have helped her lose 70 pounds after having her eldest two children, North and Saint.
I’m not saying that Kim doesn’t slog her (squished) organs out at the gym - as a friend exclaimed, ‘She trains like an Olympian’ - but what I am saying is that it’s dangerous if any of her 137million Instagram followers believe they can get her body type merely through exercise and eating clean. It sets an unrealistic precedent, which undoubtedly fails women who won’t see results like Kim after squatting their arse off. (And, let's face it, who is going to see results like that!?)
It’s this disillusion which can lead to low self-esteem - which can then feed into eating disorders or exercise addiction. Or both. According to Beat, approximately 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder (and 75% of these people are female). Worryingly, figures obtained by BBC News in March this year from NHS Digital show a rise of more than 130% in those aged 19 and under suffering from eating disorders being admitted to hospital in England since 2011. And it's this age group who are probably most likely to be seeing Kim's Met Gala look on Instagram.
What we must remember is, valued at $350 million, that Kim Kardashian is one of the richest women in the world - she can afford a personal trainer and a corset costing thousands of dollars. Most women can’t. In London, personal training sessions can cost up to £150 an hour - and, undoubtedly, personal trainers to the stars are going to cost a hell of a lot more. She will also be able to afford cleaners and nannies to look after chores which could halt her precious gym time. It goes without saying that most women do not have this luxury. Of course, we can see why Kim Kardashian has chosen to make this investment (time and money) into her bod. Fundamentally, it's her job. She is quite literally paid to for her arse to break the internet on a regular basis. Envy her waist all you want, but unless you’re incredibly rich - with all the time in the world - it’s incredibly unlikely you’ll results anywhere like it. And that's okay.
See the best - and campest looks - from the 2019 Met Gala below...