Perhaps it’s because I was pregnant while Duchess/Princess/Whatever Kate was also, my pregnancy hormones were running wild combined with my usual crazy and generally emotional demeanour, my sympathies towards this young lady who was going through what I was, just with millions of people scrutinizing her every outfit and move, were running high. I cried for her (or me..or every other pregnant woman…okay, who the hell knows who it was really for) more times than I’ll admit to.
I should throw it out there that I’m one of those girls who LOVES the royals. Seriously, they amaze me.. well, the younger generations do. They manage to come off appearing to be so casual, personable and just like you and me when let’s be real here: they’re fucking royalty, there’s nothing normal about that shit. Throw in the fact that a real, life Prince married a commoner and well, how else can a royal figure possibly do any more to appear normal and human?
Anyways.. in hindsight my concerns over the handful of jerks I encountered while pregnant are nothing compared to the scrutiny Kate endured. However, her pregnancy style or weight or any of the other headlines which constantly glared at me while I waited for the impossibly long and slow lines at the grocery store are not what grabbed my attention the most from her pregnancy.
No, instead it was the picture I saw yesterday of the beautiful woman stepping out of the doors of the hospital dressed quite simply and elegantly and looking downright happy. Pictures of the new little family waving, little quotes from Prince William regarding parenthood..all the normal fare you’d expect from such an occasion. Then I saw it: a picture of Kate, wearing a somewhat fitted empire waisted dress, the baby in Williams arms and Kate’s arms resting under her post baby belly.
In that moment I was suddenly overcome with so many feelings of emotions they threw me off guard. Here we have arguably one of the most famous women in the world not doing a thing to hide the fact that *gasp* she’s normal and like the rest of us woman she did not pop out a baby and hop into her post George (can we call him just George?) jeans. If anything she looked just so happy and content to embrace this belly I wanted to hug her. I feel this one single gesture did more for every new mother out there than any quote from any new mom celebrity will ever do.
Because what new mothers really need is not a famous person telling us how to get our pre-baby bodies back; we don’t need work outs, or recipes or to be shown how to camouflage our bellies. We need some positive, public figure woman truly embracing these new shapes, and I feel that’s exactly what Kate did. She could have chosen a more loose fitted outfit, or to shield her belly by holding the baby in a draping blanket as so many other famous women may have chosen to do – if for no other reason than to prevent judgement on their bodies, and who can blame them? Whether it was a thought out decision to wear something more fitted, was unaware how prominent the belly would be or just a moment of “yes, that one please” I don’t know..what I do know is that I adore her for it.
While we can’t exactly blame celebrities for their decisions to wear spanx, hide out until the weight is gone, or put in unrealistic hours for any normal woman to work those extra baby pounds off, it does nothing for the average woman to see this except make us feel like we are somehow less adequate because 6 week postpartum we’re still in loose, cotton clothing – or as is the case for many women, still in maternity clothes.
I am slightly embarrassed to even admit this, but I will. There are times, depending on what I am wearing, that I do not want to go in to a store without my baby. And no, while I love spending every minute I can with him, it’s not because I will miss him so much if I happen to run in to the grocery store without him. It’s because I feel like it justifies why my stomach isn’t flat anymore. If I’m pushing a cart with a newborn in it, it’s my pass for my soft middle. It lets people know that I just had a baby, and he is my reason for the belly.
And that, my readers, is ridiculous. I personally do not care how big someone’s belly is, whether they just had a baby last week or their ‘baby’ just turned 10. I don’t care if they weight 120 or 220 pounds. It’s none of my business unless they chose for it to be, and the size of someones ass does make them a good, funny, smart or caring man or woman. Yet when it comes to me, those rules are no longer applied for whatever reason.
Maybe it’s because I have lost weight and there is so much stigma behind it because as you know, everyone will gain it back. So maybe subconsciously I don’t want people to think I just gained 15 pounds back, and need to parade my kid everywhere to be my reason for the belly. Whatever my reasons are, I need to get the hell over it. End of story.
Over the past while there have been many celebrities speaking out against the harsh criticism pregnant woman have gotten (most famously Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian) for the amount of weight they’ve gained or how slowly it may take them to lose the weight afterwards. While I genuinely feel this does wonders to help new mothers everywhere, nothing has left a greater impact on me than seeing a beautiful woman, who happens to be duchess and married to the future King, standing with her family, embracing her body.
**After I wrote this, but before I hit publish I was creeping around and apparently this little belly picture is causing quite the stir! Good! I Love that woman everywhere are embracing this, and taking such a positive message from a single action. However, I am complete appalled by all the negative comments and reactions.. I read a tweet sarcastically asking if the baby was still in there. Disgusting**