Royalty Thread#12 Tiaras, Palaces & Gilded Cages

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quartz

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My point is that Diana did not start this expectation that mothers have to look picture perfect in heels, designer dress, full makeup and hair, hours after giving birth. Kate did. She's imposed this same expectation on mothers everywhere and it's deeply damaging to womens' self esteem.
It even became a social media meme:

I'm seeing women who are perfectly fine with showing themselves in all their messy glory after giving birth and not even slightly upset they don't look like Kate. Not everyone is obsessed with how Kate presents herself, after giving birth, or otherwise.
 

twinsmom

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My point is that Diana did not start this expectation that mothers have to look picture perfect in heels, designer dress, full makeup and hair, hours after giving birth. Kate did. She's imposed this same expectation on mothers everywhere and it's deeply damaging to womens' self esteem.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand your conclusion that Kate has "imposed" the expectation that mothers everywhere are required to look picture picture hours after giving birth. Nor do I understand your conclusion that Kate "deeply damag[ed] womens' self esteem" because she left the hospital looking picture perfect hours after giving birth. Kate's post-baby bump was clearly visible--which is a reality post-birth and should give "normal" women a glimpse of that reality--and from my recollection, Kate wasn't dressed in designer outfits (maybe the simple dresses she exited the hospital in were designer, but not like the designer dresses she wears at official engagements). It's not like Kate has come out and said "all new mothers are required to follow my lead and leave the hospital hours after giving birth looking fantastic." Had Kate come out and said something like this, then maybe you could accuse her of imposing expectations on mothers everywhere and causing damage to womens' self esteem. But as far as I know, Kate has never said anything for you to insist that she has done the things you seem to be accusing her of. It doesn't seem fair for you to assume that Kate or anyone in the spotlight is looking down at "mere mortals" and preaching to them about what is expected, especially because I don't think that's what Kate is trying to do.
 

MsZem

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I'm sorry, but I don't understand your conclusion that Kate has "imposed" the expectation that mothers everywhere are required to look picture picture hours after giving birth. Nor do I understand your conclusion that Kate "deeply damag[ed] womens' self esteem" because she left the hospital looking picture perfect hours after giving birth. Kate's post-baby bump was clearly visible--which is a reality post-birth and should give "normal" women a glimpse of that reality--and from my recollection, Kate wasn't dressed in designer outfits (maybe the simple dresses she exited the hospital in were designer, but not like the designer dresses she wears at official engagements).
All three dresses were by Jenny Packham. But yes, there wasn't anything showy about them, and I remember a lot of positive comments about Kate not trying to hide her postpartum bump.
 

canbelto

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Kiera Knightley actually wrote an essay about how damaging it was that Kate appeared the way she did:


Also in all three pictures she is artfully hiding her baby bump by holding the baby directly over the bump.
 

once_upon

New condo owner
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Lovely description for her daughter to read about her birth. I think Keiria was vying for attention.
I gave birth 4 times. Never once would I describe it like that.
I didn't leave the hospital in heels, but I did my hair and had makeup on. I carefully selected my going home outfit prior to going into labor. I had cute nightgowns for wearing when visitors came to see the babies.
 

Lizziebeth

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Imagine the ruckus if Kate had appeared all disheveled.

I just figured she was wearing a dress because her jeans did not fit yet :saint:
 

MsZem

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I guess Victoria, Mary, Sofia and Madeleine also had an easier time than Keira.

Some women have more difficult births than others. Obviously if Kate hadn't felt up to it, she wouldn't have left the hospital as soon as she did. Nobody is going to tell the Duchess of Cambridge that she has to leave.
 

Barbara Manatee

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Also in all three pictures she is artfully hiding her baby bump by holding the baby directly over the bump.
Where was she supposed to hold them, over her head like the Lion King?

The media is always ready to pit women against one another, but what's worse is that women always seem so willing to buy into it. Kate did not shame or impose on anyone. Meghan did not cheat the public of anything. They each did what felt right for themselves and have never suggested in any way that all good mothers could or should follow their examples. Why are we playing along with making childbirth into a contest?
 

MsZem

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Also in all three pictures she is artfully hiding her baby bump by holding the baby directly over the bump.
Dust yourself off and try again.
 

kittyjake5

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Where was she supposed to hold them, over her head like the Lion King?

The media is always ready to pit women against one another, but what's worse is that women always seem so willing to buy into it. Kate did not shame or impose on anyone. Meghan did not cheat the public of anything. They each did what felt right for themselves and have never suggested in any way that all good mothers could or should follow their examples. Why are we playing along with making childbirth into a contest?
(bolded by me) I almost choked on my tea imagining that scenario, thanks I needed a good laugh today.
 

Prancer

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My point is that Diana did not start this expectation that mothers have to look picture perfect in heels, designer dress, full makeup and hair, hours after giving birth.
Not for want of trying. Diana took a fashionable outfit to the hospital when she had William so that she would look good in photos leaving the hospital and then was unable to fit into it--and so wore the same dress to go home that she wore going in.

You notice that she looks more polished in the photo with Harry, as she knew what to expect that time.
 

flyushka

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And who can forget that a nurse commit suicide bc of William and Kate.
I'm sorry, how the eff was this Kate's fault? I don't usually get too into what the royals are up to and sure Kate leads a privileged life but she went through some pretty awful crap with those pregnancies and got shamed publicly for needing to be hospitalized with hyperemesis, with that awful event as the culmination.

As far as the Keira Knightley essay, I couldn't find it in full but I suspect that's a gross misinterpretation of what she was trying to say. Sounds like she was blaming society/men for placing unfair expectations on women and commenting on how strong women are to hide their pain to the world as they're expected ("And I am the weaker sex?"). Sounds like she understood the expectation that was on Kate to look the part and found the expectation unfair, not Kate doing what was expected of her, despite having just gone through something presumably pretty traumatic. Honestly all women deal with this expectation, maybe not quite so dramatically but if we're in pain from periods, childbirth or whatever taboo ladyparts issue, we're expected to show up and smile and never let on. There was that banned commercial that was deemed too graphic for showing the reality of the postpartum experience that comes as a shock to a lot of new moms because we don't talk about it ever, at all. That's not on Kate.

I don't really understand what Kate was supposed to have done here, show off her hospital-issued diaper or perhaps the new sutures she was sporting? Like others said she'd have been eviscerated if she'd emerged looking sloppy, and all she did was have someone blow dry and curl her hair a little. Maybe Diana looked a little more frumpy because maternity clothes were frumpier then but her hair looks styled too. Most people in the public eye work with a stylist before going on TV and/or getting photographed for an event that's arguably of historical significance. George is presumably a future king if the monarchy still exists then; those photographs might be shown 100 years from now. Hardly the usual leaving the hospital situation that most new moms deal with.
 

mag

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I think there was an unreasonable expectation put on Meghan. You say it was a tradition, aftershocks says it wasn't. Whatever, all the pregnant women I have ever known make the decisions about themselves & their baby for their own needs & preferences. Meghan was sharply criticized here & in the media for not showing off Archie the day he was born.

Diana is the 1st royal I remember going public the same day her baby was born. She was what? 19 or 20? I personally think she was unwise to do it & I think Kate was crazy to emulate it.
I think Meghan was old enough and intelligent enough to figure out what was best for her - which she did. As for hair, make up, and designer clothing, did you even read my post? Diana and Kate were very similar in that regard. The only difference is the high heels for Charlotte and Louis. Again, Diana never wore high heels, Kate almost always does.

I don’t know what aftershocks said, but by the time Kate appeared with George in definitely was a tradition. Tradition being something done over and over and sometimes passed down through the generations. There is also the tradition of having babies at home in the palace. Just because something is a tradition does not mean that everyone has to do it. Charles had to marry a virgin, that was the tradition. William broke that tradition. Things evolve and traditions change. I suspect the tradition of appearing on the hospital steps caught on because it was a quick way of getting that first appearance out of the way. That clearly worked for W&K it was not what H&M wanted. Maybe what they did will start a new tradition, maybe not. FWIW, IMHO what pissed people off most with H&M was the lying about when Meghan went into labour. Obviously it was their call, but I think it would have been better to say nothing at all and then announce when Archie was born. Shrug, the problem with lying is then people feel betrayed. The fact that no one really had a right to know when she went into labour didn’t seem to matter to those looking to criticize. Unfortunately the lie just added gas to the fire.
 

canbelto

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No one has a right to know when Meghan's water broke or when her vagina dilated enough. No woman announces these things on social media. We still view royal women as breeders and that's part of the problem.
 

mag

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No one has a right to know when Meghan's water broke or when her vagina dilated enough. No woman announces these things on social media. We still view royal women as breeders and that's part of the problem.
You didn’t quote me but I want to be clear - I absolutely agree. No one has the right to know and I have not suggested otherwise. (Posted just in case you skimmed my last post and thought otherwise.)
 

IceAlisa

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No one has a right to know when Meghan's water broke or when her vagina dilated enough. No woman announces these things on social media. We still view royal women as breeders and that's part of the problem.
Cervix is what dilates

I haven't seen it but there are women who have the entire birth filmed and put on social media, so I wouldn't be so sure. :slinkaway
Posting graphic videos of home births and virtue signaling how they avoid evil evil hospitals and give birth into a tub was a thing right around the time my son was born.
 

becca

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No one has a right to know when Meghan's water broke or when her vagina dilated enough. No woman announces these things on social media. We still view royal women as breeders and that's part of the problem.
Ugh. I didn’t know these things were announced about Kate. And part of the job for royals is to secure an heir especially consorts and that goes for male consorts like Prince Phillip. Of course things happen and sometimes children cannot he had but. Part of the role was to agree to children
 

overedge

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William and Kate did not cause a nurse to kill herself. The nurse answered a prank phone call and put it through to Kate's hospital room, not realizing that the callers were some radio DJs having a laugh. If anyone is to blame in that situation, it's the radio DJs who thought this was a clever thing to do.
 

overedge

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And part of the job for royals is to secure an heir especially consorts and that goes for male consorts like Prince Phillip. Of course things happen and sometimes children cannot he had but. Part of the role was to agree to children
Um, I don't think the Royals require anyone to "agree" to this. I have read that both Diana and Kate had ob/gyn exams before the marriage to ensure they could have children, but I would be seriously surprised if the potential spouses have to sign a contract or some other formal guarantee that they are going to breed.
 

canbelto

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Ugh. I didn’t know these things were announced about Kate. And part of the job for royals is to secure an heir especially consorts and that goes for male consorts like Prince Phillip. Of course things happen and sometimes children cannot he had but. Part of the role was to agree to children
I guess Anne Boleyn deserved to go to the Tower of London then bc she failed to provide a male heir.
 

mag

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Um, I don't think the Royals require anyone to "agree" to this. I have read that both Diana and Kate had ob/gyn exams before the marriage to ensure they could have children, but I would be seriously surprised if the potential spouses have to sign a contract or some other formal guarantee that they are going to breed.
My understanding is that the medical exams are just a myth.

@becca, as far as I know no one announced anything with Kate other than she was in labour in the hospital. The next announcement was a birth announcement.
 
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