At age 23, designer Bob Mackie drew the sketch for the famous nude gown Marilyn Monroe would wear to sing “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy while working as an assistant to designer Jean Louis. Entertainment Weekly spoke with Mackie about his thoughts on Kim Kardashian wearing the original dress to the 2022 Met Gala. He was not a fan.
“I thought it was a big mistake,” Mackie said. “[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.”
He was also concerned, Entertainment Weekly wrote, “that wearing the gown was undoubtably damaging to its preservation and structural integrity.”
Kardashian only wore Monroe’s original gown on the stairs of the Met Gala before changing into a replica. The move drew controversy not just because of Kardashian potentially damaging the historical gown, but because she spoke about going on a crash diet, losing 16 pounds in three weeks, so she could fit into the dress.
Many people on social media called out how unhealthy and harmful crash dieting is to people who look up to Kardashian, particularly those who struggle with body image issues. Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart went viral for her public comments against the stunt.
“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?” Reinhart wrote. “So wrong. So f*cked 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. I am not generally an angry person but I swear to god, the toxicity of this industry really gets to me sometimes and I have to do my little Instagram-story rants to release my rage.”
Reinhart later commented on the reaction to her statement, tweeting, “*sigh* I do not say the things that I say because I want to be relevant or get attention. I speak up because I don’t see enough people with large platforms calling out toxic behavior in our industry. Some people will never understand where I’m coming from and that’s okay.”
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