So if you know me, you probably know that I’m kind of a killjoy about the whole royal wedding, royal baby, royal anything business. When The Guardian gave the option to choose republican or royalist versions of their online paper after Kate went into labor I chose republican and was pleased with my choice.
But then I saw a bit of their little appearance in front of the hospital and I saw that she wasn’t hiding her stomach. She was in a simple comfortable dress and her post baby stomach was on full display. Maybe it’s happened before and I just wasn’t looking for it, but I have never seen a public figure in the days immediately following giving birth showing off her belly so unashamedly.
That post-baby belly is one of those things you know will happen to you, the lady who teaches your NCT class will tell you about it but you won’t really understand it until after that baby has fought his or her way out of your body and you still look 6 months pregnant. You never see these bellies in the wild, at least you aren’t aware of them. And when you see celebrities immediately following the birth of their children, they have usually been trained to within an inch of their pre-baby selves. Their stomachs don’t look jubbly and stretchmarked, they look like they were doing crunches in time with their lamaze breathing. And as much as you know that this is not realistic, that normal women cannot be held to these ridiculous standards, it is still hard to see. It is hard to reconcile your new body with the images you are bombarded with, with the rubbish magazines that tell you how so and so just melted off the weight (bee the dubs, OK magazine can bite me. I’m not linking to them and their crap cover story about Kate’s baby weight whatever, I am just giving them the finger from my sofa), with all the crap about how you are supposed to be and look and act after giving birth to a child after spending 9 months with no control of your body and you haven’t had more than one lousy glass of wine per trimester either because YOU ARE A RESPONSIBLE PARENT, ALRIGHT?!?!
So, yeah, the point is, thank you Duchess of Cambridge. You did the rest of us a solid on Tuesday. You showed people a rarely seen example of what a woman looks like after giving birth (even if the rest of us (aka me) left the hospital in leggings, a tunic and flip-flops with our hair in a pony tail and no idea how to put the car seat in the taxi). I don’t know if standing there in your body unashamed is courage exactly, but it was kind of brave and I know I appreciated it. I appreciated it quite a lot.
Also, dude, can I call you dude? You were walking like a pro, I bet they totally gave you more than ibu profen and paracetamol like what I got at King’s College Hospital. Either that or your bionic.