Kim Kardashian’s 2024 Met Gala look places health implications of the waistline revolution in the spotlight

Kim Kardashian’s 2024 Met Gala look.Picture: Instagram.

Kim Kardashian’s 2024 Met Gala look.Picture: Instagram.

Published May 8, 2024


The 2024 Met Gala was a feast for the eyes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Widely regarded as fashion’s biggest night out, the annual fundraising gala, affectionately known as the Met Ball, sees celebrities, designers and high-profile figures creatively expressing themselves on every first Monday of May.

This year's theme was "Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion," but the official dress code was the “Garden of Time,” which was inspired by British author JG Ballard’s 1962 short story which is set in a garden filled with translucent, time-manipulating flowers.

The renowned gathering saw the globe’s biggest stars bring the theme to life in their own unique ways.

And with the world watching, Kim Kardashian managed to steal the spotlight with her incredibly snatched and almost non-existent waistline in a one-of-a-kind sheer dress designed by John Galliano, the creative director of Maison Margiela.

The reality star and entrepreneur’s garment, with floral motifs imprinted on the bodice, also included a silver corset that seemed to cinch her waist to the extreme.

The “Skims” mogul, is no stranger to making sacrifices for fashion, particularly for her Met Gala looks.

In 2019, she brought designer Thierry Mugler out of retirement to create a super tight "wet dress" that left marks on her body.

She has since admitted that dress was painful to wear. But her outfit to this year’s event might have been taken an even bigger toll on her body as her cinched waistline continues to be a topic of heated debates.

Kim Kardashian West wearing a Thierry Mugler designed dress at the 2019 Met Gala. Picture: Reuters.

The corset was so tight it looked like she could hardly walk or breathe and it sculpted her body in a way that it adds to narratives around unrealistic body expectations.

As Kardashian’s barely-there waist continues to trend on social media, Independent Media Lifestyle spoke to renowned Durban-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Kajal Lutchminarian, to get her insights into the health implications of waistline fashion.

Also known fondly as Dr. Klutch, Lutchminarian has been recognised by The Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons of Southern Africa (APRSSA) for her exceptional work in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery.

Picture: Dr. Kajal Lutchminarian, known fondly as Dr. Klutch/Supplied

She explained that the craze around extreme waistline alteration methods, like using corsets or waist trainers in a bid to significantly slim the midsection, are not as harmless as they might appear.

Lutchminarian warned that compressing the abdomen tightly not only creates discomfort, but can also lead to serious health issues.

“This squeezing can increase abdominal pressure, shifting organs from their natural positions and possibly triggering a variety of health complications,” she explained.

The plastic surgeon added that these fashion "trends" might be doing more harm than good, putting aesthetics before health and potentially causing irreversible damage to the body and overall well-being.

“There are short-term and long-term side effects that tight waist training or corseting practices can lead to,” she said.

“Squeezing our waists with corsets or waist trainers isn't as great as we think. These tight accessories cause digestive issues like acid reflux and constipation. What's more is that wearing them for too long could reduce our lung capacity and mess with our blood flow.”

Lutchminarian added that the overuse of a waist trainer could also affect a person’s posture, which could cause back pain and weakened muscles.

“If you're chasing a slimmer figure by tight lacing, you might end up losing not just weight, but also crucial muscle and essential fats. This can throw a wrench into your health and metabolism,” she said.

“Ribs being squeezed into unnatural shapes also risks misalignment or fractures.”

Meanwhile, Lutchminarian noted that blood flow can also take a hit from overly tight waist hugging as it increases the chances of blood clots, the formation of varicose veins and even heart issues.

“Continuous compression of organs like the liver and kidneys can impair their function, affecting metabolism, detoxification and waste elimination.”

In the pursuit of timeless beauty, Dr Klutch warned that tight waist trainers and corsets may compress nerves, leading to numbness, tingling, or nerve damage in the abdominal area.

She also believes that seeing people with what is deemed to be the perfect body on social media, can cause scores around the world to develop eating disorders and mental health problems.

To tackle this issue, Lutchminarian stressed that it's important to encourage people to feel good about their bodies, to accept themselves for who they are and to question these unrealistic standards of beauty.

“Doing this can help create a more positive view of our bodies and boost our self-esteem,” she said.

“I feel that the pursuit of an extremely altered waistline, influenced by societal pressures and social media, can lead to detrimental psychological effects.”

“Everything should be done in a balanced way and there are limits to what one should aim or achieve to look like,” she added.