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MEGHAN MCCAIN: Kim Kardashian trashed Marilyn Monroe on the altar of our shallow culture

American history and American art should be protected, period. In our current uninspired consumer culture, where we buy and throw away an incredible amount, preserving our past is more important than ever.

That’s why I was so upset when Kim Kardashian made the decision last month to release Marilyn Monroe’s famous crystal-encrusted “Happy Birthday Mr. President’s dress to wear to the Met Ball in New York City.

Some dresses are so iconic and embedded in our American psyche that they shouldn’t be worn by anyone except the women who made them famous.

Marilyn is of course one of the most famous American icons (yes, even more famous than Kim herself).

She caused controversy of her own in 1965 when she wore that form-fitting dress to sing to President John F. Kennedy Jr. during his 45th birthday.

It was a scandalous moment.

The dress, designed by Bob Mackie, created the illusion of standing naked on stage as she serenaded the country’s young, hot and very married president.

Add to the drama Marilyn’s sultry, seductive manner she displayed towards a man who had long been rumored to be having a sexual affair.

It was a scene that fuses political and pop culture and is embedded in American consciousness.

Marilyn is of course one of the most famous American icons (yes, even more famous than Kim [above]) herself).

Marilyn is of course one of the most famous American icons (yes, even more famous than Kim herself).

Marilyn (right) is, of course, one of the most famous American icons. Yes, even more famous than Kim (left) herself

There is a lot to unpack about that moment; the naked dress, the song, Marilyn, Kennedy and everything that happened that night and after.

Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, ending an era of American innocence and ushering in a time of violence, political unrest and cynicism that has come to define the modern American experience.

Marilyn died of a drug overdose in her home three months after wearing the dress in August.

And on Monday, new photos of the dress were released showing the apparent damage done by Kim’s fleeting red carpet moment.

The fabric is torn and stretched and many of the crystals had fallen off.

Simply put, it is very damaged and a sad sight to see.

That dress is primarily a piece of American history.

Kim’s decision to wear the dress as one wearing Judy Garland’s ruby ​​slippers from the Wizard of Oz, which is in The Smithsonian.

(The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museum bought the Marilyn dress in 2016 for a record $5 million — I hope they’re happy with their investment.)

Kim swore up and down that she was extremely careful, but the proof is right before our eyes.

The fabric is torn and stretched and many of the crystals had fallen off.  Simply put, it is very damaged and a sad sight to see.  (Above) Monroe Dress for the Met Gala

The fabric is torn and stretched and many of the crystals had fallen off.  Simply put, it is very damaged and a sad sight to see.  (Above) Monroe dress after the Met Gala

Before and after images of Monroe dress: The fabric is torn and stretched and many of the crystals had fallen off. Simply put, it is very damaged and a sad sight to see.

In videos of Kim initially trying on Marilyn’s dress, you can see museum workers wearing white gloves straining the fabric over Kim’s backside.

It didn’t fit easily. In fact, the dress never actually fit her.

She was unable to zip up the dress and instead it was tied up, leaving Kim to wear a fur stole to cover the back that was left open.

Also in the video, museum staff can be seen giving Kim a lock of Marilyn’s hair, joking about going to sleep every night.

There’s something macabre about handing out bits of a person in exchange for clicks and social media clout.

In every way Marilyn was a sweet, gentle woman who was plagued by demons and used by powerful men.

The Kardashians may be the most famous family in America, but that doesn't give them the right to trample American history looking for likes on Instagram and retweets on Twitter.

The Kardashians may be the most famous family in America, but that doesn’t give them the right to trample American history looking for likes on Instagram and retweets on Twitter.

It seems to me that Marilyn in death, as she was in life, is used up and thrown away – destroyed on the altar of our shallow culture.

Out of respect for the legacy, Kim has to pay for the dress repairs as a goodwill gesture.

I don’t know how textile restoration works, but I’m sure something can be done about it.

The Kardashians may be the most famous family in America, but that doesn’t give them the right to trample American history looking for likes on Instagram and retweets on Twitter.

We’re all better than this and Kim should definitely be smarter.

Our American past is sacred and I beg all of us to return to treat it that way.

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