During the 2022 Met Gala in May, reality TV star Kim Kardashian wore one of the most famous dresses in the history of the United States. Now, some people are reporting she may have damaged it.
According to the New York Post, Kardashian wore the exact dress Marilyn Monroe wore to sing “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to former President John F. Kennedy in 1962.
The Instagram account for The Marilyn Monroe Collection posted two photos side by side. The account said the first picture was from before Kardashian wore the dress, while the second was from Sunday, a little over a month after the Met Gala.
The Marilyn Monroe Collection said the second photo showed “missing crystals, and some left hanging by a thread.”
Multiple Twitter accounts also shared photos that appeared to show damage on the dress, and many expressed sadness and frustration at the development.
“The historic Marilyn Monroe dress has been damaged,” one user wrote. “The sheer material is frayed & ripped around the zipper & some crystals have popped off from Kim Kardashian attempting to squeeze into it. A piece of Hollywood history has lost its flawless magnificence. Shame.”
The historic Marilyn Monroe dress has been damaged. The sheer material is frayed & ripped around the zipper & some crystals have popped off from Kim Kardashian attempting to squeeze into it. A piece of Hollywood history has lost its flawless magnificence. Shame. pic.twitter.com/IT6pnOW1Lq
— The Marilyn Diaries (@MarilynDiary) June 13, 2022
Another user said the decision to let Kardashian wear the dress in the first place was disrespectful to Monroe.
“As a historian, this hurts not because it damaged “history” but because people still treat Marilyn Monroe and her things as public,” the user wrote. “Her face, her body, her image, her person is not seen as HERS either then or now and she deserves much more than to be anyone’s symbol.”
As a historian, this hurts not because it damaged “history” but because people still treat Marilyn Monroe and her things as public. Her face, her body, her image, her person is not seen as HERS either then or now and she deserves much more than to be anyone’s symbol https://t.co/cv0EzCog9R
— 𝐁 𝐄 𝐍 𝐈 (@LaSantaBeni) June 13, 2022
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum in Orlando, Florida, purchased the dress for $4.8 million in 2016, the Post reported. The price exceeded $5 million after taxes and fees.
The Post said Ripley’s characterized it as the “world’s most expensive dress” to be auctioned off, and it is now valued at over $10 million.
A noted historical expert on Monroe told the outlet the dress was a “national treasure.”
Last month, Ripley’s defended the decision to let Kardashian wear the dress and told the Post that “no damage” occurred to it. If the photos being shared on social media are accurate, that characterization would be false.
Kardashian claimed to have lost 16 pounds in three weeks so that she could fit into the dress, the Post reported. Even then, it was not a perfect fit.
The reality star was unable to fully zip the dress and covered the back of it with a shawl made of white fur. Kardashian only wore the authentic dress on the red carpet, and she changed into a replica for the rest of the event.
There is no question that damage to this dress would be a shame, especially given how preventable it was. If the dress truly is damaged, it is a symptom of our country’s obsession with celebrities.
If this dress was truly a “national treasure,” it should have been preserved, not handed out for someone to wear. Celebrities in America have been allowed to act like almost no rules apply to them, and destruction is the predictable result of that trend.
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