I was perusing the CBC website and came across this article about the soon to be princess Kate Middleton’s weight issues, which made me roll my eyes. But then I read it the article and just couldn’t let it pass without comment.
Now, I have to say from the get-go that I couldn’t give two hoots about the upcoming royal wedding, and the happy couple really hadn’t been on my personal radar until this moment. But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but think that this poor young woman must be ridiculously in love or is a total and complete masochist. She is signing up to have every aspect of her life and appearance scrutinized in a way that would drive most people around the bend.
Already we are hearing that she is apparently too thin on the lead-up to the big day. Now, if the CBC is telling us this, you can just imagine that the speculation in the British press is about a hundred times more prolific. Yes, the poor girl is apparently looking gaunt and, more importantly, made the mistake of saying something to the effect that it was ‘part of the wedding plan.’
I’m going to give Kat ethe benefit of the doubt and say that she didn’t really mean it that way. Maybe she’s just one of those people who doesn’t eat when they’re stressed. I have a friend like that and I simply can’t understand how stress doesn’t make you reach for that extra chocolate chip cookie, but maybe that’s just me. The really infuriating thing is that this is being reported at all. Why is this girl’s weight news? Why are we not talking about how Prince William is looking pretty bald lately? Can we remark on how he should maybe consider hair plugs?
Of course we won’t hear that. Or if we do, it will be out-reported 100 to 1 by how Kate is looking, whether or not she’s gaining or losing weight, and whether or not her shoes matched her handbag. Oh, and look out after the wedding because every time she has an extra crumpet at tea time, there will be reports of a royal pregnancy. Because that’s what it is to be a woman in the spotlight. You may have talent, intelligence, an outstanding career, be a philanthropist, an educator, or a CEO but if you are in the public eye enough for the press to take notice, it all comes down to your appearance. It’s a sad sad fact that women are still seen as objects, that we are dissected and picked apart feature by feature and told what is ‘wrong’ with us. And for somebody like Kate Middleton, who will be hearing it and seeing it every single day for the foreseeable future, I would hope that we, as women, will turn the page, turn the channel, or click away from stories that expect Kate and indeed all women in the public eye to live up to unattainable, unrealistic and ridiculous standards of some media created idealized womanhood. I know that I will.