‘I decided to paint [my room] pink because while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with the room, I went to dinner with friends and they had just gone to the Human Condition exhibition at a former hospital in LA,’ explains Kendall Jenner on her website kendallj.com.
‘They were telling me there’s a pink room at the exhibit that had an explanation of the colour choice: Baker-Miller Pink is the only colour scientifically proven to calm you AND suppress your appetite. I was like, ‘I NEED this colour in my house!’’
How I wish I woke up every morning in a room that subliminally told me I should calmly deal with my hunger pangs about breakfast. ‘Don’t fret about it, Edwina,’ the room would say, ‘just don't eat. Because eating is bad. Starvation is gooooood.’
Yes, my dream scenario... NOT.
I’m not sure I’ll have enough time today to explain how wrong this idea is. But wrong, it is, for certain.
Firstly because, it might actually be wrong. At least, it hasn’t been sufficiently proven (‘scientifically proven’) to be right. As The Times points out today, American scientist Alexander Schauss was behind the theory that colours can dim aggression. In the late Seventies, he experimented using different shades of pink and discovered the hue P-618 appeared to ease heart pressure. A further experiment indicated P-618 (later named Baker-Miller pink) reduced violent and aggressive behaviour in inmates at a naval correctional centre after they spent 15 minutes of downtime in a Baker-Miller-coloured prison cell.
Skip forward to the Eighties and another test by the same scientist – this time with overweight patients – showed the colour had a ‘peculiar appetite suppression effect’ on a third of the 1,700 participants.
That’s it. The results have never been found again, and in fact, a further experiment in the late Eighties showed no difference in inmate behaviour between prisoners housed in a Baker-Miller cell and those in plain old white.
So it could be said, the whole idea is rubbish and those two instances were flukes.
But who cares, right? If Kendall Jenner wants to paint her bedroom in a nauseating colour to stop herself eating, what’s it to me?
What IS something to me, however, is her decision to share this ‘logic’ with her X-many million fans, many of whom are impressionable girls and young women.
We know models don’t eat. That Kendall has to go to such drastic measures to suppress her appetite is hardly ‘BREAKING NEWS’. That said, there are some youngsters out there who buy into the idea that models do eat. They see Instagram snaps of them tucking into pizza and genuinely believe that’s their regular diet. They put the fact they’re so thin down the old chestnut, ‘good genes’.
I’m happy for them to think that. I don’t even care it’s not true.
Granted, I find it mildly irritating when I see size zero models posting Instagram snaps of them eating burgers (or ‘about to eat’, rather – odd that we never see the empty plate afterwards) but if they want to perpetuate the idea that they eat three hearty meals a day, fantastic, I’m down with that. Because at least that tells young women eating doesn’t stop you being beautiful or successful.
But when you reveal the extent you go to NOT to eat, and then sell it as a ‘great idea’, that is where I take issue with it.
I know celebrities get a lot of grief over how their behaviour may or may not influence others, and yes, I’m sure it’s exhausting. But you know what? It’s Kendall Jenner’s job to influence people. What else do models do, if not influence what clothes people wear, what make-up they slap on and how to style their hair?
That could be where it ends. Kendall could do a Kate Moss and let her work do the influencing, whilst keeping her private life, private – hidden behind the mantra of: ‘don’t complain, don’t explain’.
But Kendall doesn’t do that. Kendall’s made her personal life a part of her job. Why? Because it’s profitable and it ensures her continuing success. After all, it’s what made her a model in the first place. Without the fly-on-the-wall reality TV show Keeping Up With The Kardashians (which propelled her family into superstardom) would Kendall Jenner have 73.5million followers? No. Without entertaining those 73.5million followers with titbits from her daily life, would Kendall Jenner have been fast-tracked onto the runways of Victoria’s Secret and countless other designers? No. This means Kendall’s job influencing doesn’t stop when the show’s over, when the light’s dim and when someone shouts ‘that’s a wrap’. It continues on into the night and through to the morning too – as she has shown, by detailing to fans what colour she has painted the room she sleeps in and wakes up in, via a post fans had to PAY to read. The room-colour revelation has made Kendall money. Which makes it part of her job.
I don’t begrudge Kendall the cash. But with earning like that – through influencing – comes responsibility. And whether she likes it or not, that means putting out responsible messages.
Telling millions of followers that she painted her room a colour ‘scientifically proven’ to help curb her appetite is not a responsible message.
And what’s more, it’s just wrong.