Late Tuesday night, the reality star took to Twitter to share: “The flu can be an amazing diet. So happy it came in time for the Met lol #6lbsdown”
However, while shedding some pounds from the viral infection is a normal side effect (although, it should be noted, it’s typically just water weight from symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite from nausea), an illness is certainly not a safe diet, as Kardashian implied.
Many on social media were quick to point this out.
BEING CONTAGIOUS ISN'T A COOL DIET KIMMY U R BETTER THAN THIS SMDH https://t.co/EQOZVKWQXB
— Brodie Lancaster (@brodielancaster) April 19, 2017
Kim called the flu an amazing diet. Being sick dooooes make you skinny but it's not amazing to be sick ????
— ???? (@BUSANRUDE) April 19, 2017
@KimKardashian Now imagine saying that to your daughter after she gets sick…
— kirst the worst (@kirakirst) April 19, 2017
“I’d watch what I say,” another responded. “People will start saying the flu is the next amazing way to lose weight lol.”
And with Kardashian’s popularity, it’s possible — even probable — that some would take her word for it. More important, though, it’s the suggestion that illness is a viable route to thinness, an ideal Kardashian helps perpetuates on a society struggling with body image issues, is dangerous.
The “joke” is one many on the Internet are repeating, and it’s even been referenced in pop culture when in The Devil Wears Prada Emily Blunt’s character Emily tells Anne Hathaway’s Andi, “I’m one stomach flu away from my goal weight.”
Every woman I know has said something to this effect at least once in their lives ???? except replace Met with party down the road https://t.co/XBnyFwAfai
— Belinda Jane (@AvidGirlBoss) April 19, 2017
The difference between a confession made in jest made between friends and Kardashian’s tweet is the fact that the Keeping Up With the Kardashians player made it to her 51 million followers — old and young, wise and impressionable.
@KimKardashian maybe don't glamorize sickness for weight loss
— Tatiana Nassar (@TatianaNassar) April 19, 2017
Kardashian has also raised concerns around eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some point in their life. Additionally, more than half of teenage girls and nearly a third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight-loss methods, a demographic who just so happens to be some of Kardashian’s biggest fans.
@KimKardashian you're aware of the amount of people that follow you/are inspired by you, right? lots of them being impressionable young people?
— Carmen (@Carmen_pov) April 19, 2017
‘’It’s unfortunate that a celebrity who’s in the public eye with such a following on social media would make such a comment,” a spokesperson from the eating-disorder charity Beat tells Yahoo Beauty. “Young people struggling with an eating disorder are fighting a tough enough battle as it is without thoughtless remarks such as this, which can make it even harder.”
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Why We’re Excited About Playboy’s New Model Mom
- Body Positive Blogger: ‘We’ve Made Our Bodies an Unsafe Place to Exist’
- Hannah Bronfman Blasts the Idea of Losing Weight for Your Wedding