The headlines scream. The Twitterverse is abuzz. TMZ is besides themselves. The editors at People Magazine are drooling all over each other.
“KIM KARDASHIAN LOST 6 POUNDS IN SEVEN DAYS BY GIVING UP GLUTEN!”
And celiacs across the world let out a collective groan.
Yes, I am paraphrasing a little bit in the headline. She also gave up dairy and sugar. Blogger’s prerogative.
But I think I speak for most people who have serious gluten issues when I respectfully say this: “Shut the f**k up!”
Do I have a personal bias against her? Perhaps a touch.
Her dad helped a murderer get off innocent. She made a sex tape to become famous. She got hitched in a sham marriage for profit. She is the epitome of what is wrong with our celebrity-obsessed culture. My god…she even has someone to hold an umbrella for her…on sunny days no less (see above picture).
But let me take this down a notch and impart a personal plea to Kim.
My Dearest Kim,
You are popular. You have a highly-rated TV show. You’re on the cover of 97 magazines each week. You have a gazillion followers on Twitter.
Because of this popularity, you can make a difference in people’s lives. People, especially susceptible people, will listen to you.
And when you say that you can lose weight by going gluten-free, you are sending the wrong message. This is simply, factually untrue.
Giving up gluten has NOTHING to do with weight loss, unless you are replacing those gluten-filled foods with healthy alternatives. But you don’t mention that. Your sound byte is simply that you gave up gluten (and dairy and sugar) and it’s “HARD!”
But you know what thousands of teenage girls are going to do now? They are going to go gluten-free to lose weight because “that’s what Kim did.”
And then a month from now, I will be in a restaurant and tell the waiter that I cannot have gluten and he will roll his eyes and say “Isn’t gluten that thing Kardashian gave up?”
And I will froth at the mouth, steam will come out my ears, my eyes will bulge out of my head, the veins on my forehead will pop and I will say “NO…IT’S POISON TO ME AND ALL PEOPLE WITH CELIAC DISEASE.”
But it will fall on deaf ears because you have helped perpetuate the myth that going gluten-free is a surefire way to lose weight.
And in two weeks, when you’re back to eating gluten again because you didn’t realize that gluten is practically in everything and it’s too big of a sacrifice, the damage will already have been done.
So please Kim…for us celiacs…call your PR company and release another sound byte that goes like this:
“I recently made statements that related giving up gluten to losing weight. I did not realize that gluten can also be very dangerous to those with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivities and I apologize for misleading the public and for making it more difficult for those with celiac disease to be taken seriously. If you want to lose weight, the key is eating healthy and exercising a lot. There are no shortcuts. My apologies to the celiac community.”
Thanks for listening Kim.